Canada Basketball announced its invites for training camp ahead of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 and amongst its 15-woman roster is New York Liberty guard, Kia Nurse.
The Hamilton, Ontario native will embark on her eighth year with the Canadian National Team after having completed her senior season at The University of Connecticut earlier this year and her rookie season with the WNBA’s New York Liberty just weeks ago. Following Team Canada play, she will then compete with University of Canberra Capitals of Australia’s WNBL during the Winter and Spring months.
“It comes not only with the players that we’ve been continuing to bring in but also with other (ways the) organization works,” said Kia Nurse on the growing popularity of Canadian and women’s basketball. “How can we keep the opportunity for me, Kayla (Alexander) and Nat to stay with our WNBA teams and come back and still be able to play and thrive in this environment? There’s been a great shift in that in terms of the last five years that I’ve been here. It’s helped us immensely to get to where we are.”
Currently ranked a program-high 5th in the FIBA World Ranking Presented by NIKE, Canada qualified for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 last summer after winning their second consecutive FIBA Women’s AmeriCup title. At the AmeriCup, Nurse averaged 10.5 points through six contests while hauling 2.2 rebounds per game.
“Kia (Nurse) is an older vet, but she’s also the same age (22). Just taking from her the energy she plays with, the physicality,” said Michigan State redshirt junior Shay Colley who averaged 11.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. “Just taking the wisdom: when to make the right read, how to read your defender.”
Head Coach Lisa Thomaidis (University of Saskatchewan) will lead Canada and be joined by assistants Steve Baur (Canada Basketball) and Carly Clarke (Ryerson University).
“This is an exciting time for our women’s national team,” said Lisa Thomaidis, Head Coach, Senior Women’s National Team. “We are looking forward to starting training camp with the deepest talent pool we’ve had in recent memory.”
“With many of our athletes playing in the best leagues in the world, we are excited to get everyone together to prepare to represent Canada with pride and passion at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup,” Thomaidis said.
The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup is the biggest international women’s basketball competition with 18th edition of the event taking place in Spain from September 22-30, 2018 in San Cristobal de la Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Nurse continued. “To have had a couple days off before coming here was definitely good for my body and making sure I’m where I need to be physically and mentally to help this team succeed.”
Following training camp, Canada will travel to Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut for a two-game exhibition series against Japan (Sept. 7) and USA (Sept. 8). Before arriving in Tenerife, Canada will face France, USA and Senegal in a four-team tournament in Antibes, France (Sept. 15-17).
“We have a great exhibition schedule lined up leading into the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and look forward to the team coming together and competing against the best teams in the world,” said Denise Dignard, Director Women’s High Performance.
Canada is in Group A for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 and will face Greece (Sept. 22), Korea (Sept. 23) and France (Sept. 25) in the Group Phase. Click here for the competition schedule.
Kia Nurse and Team Canada
2017: In her first tournament of the 2017 season with the Senior National Team, she contributed significantly to the Gold Medal win at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup. She averaged 21.1 minutes per game, and 10.5 points per game along with 2.2 rebounds per game.
2016: Member of the Rio 2016 Olympic Team who placed 7th in the tournament; was the top performer in the game against Serbia scoring 25 points; averaged 11 points per game, 2.3 assists and 25.6 minutes Played 3 games with the Senior National team in the USA Showcase exhibition tournament, averaging 26.4 minutes and 5.3 points per game.
2015: Member of the 2015 Pan American Games team that won Canada’s first ever gold medal. Averaged 25.5 minutes and 12.8 points per game. Finished 3rd in scoring , 7th for made free throws, 8th in three pointers, and top 10 in assists for the tournament. Played in three exhibition games in Spain averaging 20.33 minutes and 8.0 points per game. Played in three exhibition games in France averaging 27.52 minutes and 11.0 points per game. Helped the SWNT achieve gold at the FIBA Americas, qualifying for Rio 2016 Olympics… Named MVP of the tournament…Averaged 25.3 minutes and 13.0 points per game
2014: Second year playing on the Senior Women’s National Team; averaging over 20 minutes in 8 exhibition games; averaged 6.3 Points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game in the Turkey exhibition tournament…averaged 6.7 points per game in the Czech exhibition tournament…Started in all 7 games at FIBA Worlds averaging 6.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
2013: First year playing on the Senior Women’s National team and competing in all exhibition tournaments and games leading up to FIBA Americas as well as playing in all FIBA America games. Averaged 10 points, 24.67 minutes and 2.50 assists per game in the FIBA Americas tournament and helped solidify Canada’s spot in the 2014 FIBA Worlds Tournament.
2012: Member of the 2012 CWNT that competed at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Amsterdam where they won bronze…was the team leader and 6th overall in the tournament in points per game and …one of the team captains. Member of the 3×3 Team that participated at the 2012 3×3 Youth World Championships held in Spain.
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