“After a very competitive training camp, we have a roster that we’re really excited about,” said Lisa Thomaidis, the head coach of Canada’s women’s team. “We’re looking forward to this next stage of training and competition, where we’ll be able to measure ourselves against some of the best teams in the world prior to competing at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.”
Those measuring stick games will take place for Canada against Japan on September 7 and the United States on September 8. After playing both of those games in Connecticut, Canada will travel to France for a four-team warmup tournament from September 15-17 against the United States, France, and Senegal.
Following a relatively busy month of travel, Team Canada will dive into FIBA competition in the difficult Group A. With the competition hosted in Spain, Canada will face Greece on September 22, Korea on September 23, and France on September 25. France is ranked third in the world, and Canada is currently fifth, which is the highest ranking Canada’s ever achieved. The group-stage game between France and Canada is sure to be a thriller, especially as France knocked Canada out of the 2016 Olympics.
Canada boasts a superstar in WNBA rookie Kia Nurse. Nurse is no stranger to international competition, having won tournament MVP honours in 2015’s FIBA Americas Women’s Championship. The youngster scored 20 points in Canada’s final win over Cuba. Another star for Canada should be Nirra Fields, who lead Canada in scoring during their victorious 2017 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup, whereby they qualified for this FIBA tournament.
Canada’s roster is likely the strongest it has ever been, having added WNBA teammates in Natalie Achonwa and Kayla Alexander to their roster with the WNBA season finished. Achonwa especially will be an offensive lynchpin, having finished a strong season for the Indiana Fever scoring 10.3 points per game.