June 26, 2013, Ottawa (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjunction with Canada Basketball, announced Wednesday the student-athletes and staff members who will represent the country in women’s basketball at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.
Canada is coming off a sixth-place finish at the 2011 tournament in Shenzhen, China, which marked the development national team’s best result in a decade at the biennial competition. A pair of bronze medals in 1979 (Mexico City) and 1991 (Sheffield, England) remain Canada’s best-ever finish at the FISU Games.
Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013
The 11-athlete roster heading to Kazan is comprised of seven standouts from CIS schools and four from NCAA institutions.
The lineup includes guards Rachelle Coward of Dartmouth, N.S., Miah-Marie Langlois of Windsor, Ont., Dianna Ros of Montreal, Korissa Williams of Windsor and Kris Young of North Vancouver; forwards Lindsay Ledingham of Regina and Kara Spotton of Belleville, Ont.; posts Taijah Campbell of Ajax, Ont., and Tessa Kreiger of London, Ont.; post/forward Dalyce Emmerson of Prince Albert, Sask., as well as Erin Chambers of Mission, B.C., who plays guard and forward.
Langlois and Ledingham are the only returning members from the 2011 Universiade squad. Williams and Young also have international experience as they helped Canada to fifth place at the 2011 FIBA under-19 world championship.
Langlois, Williams and Kreiger are teammates with the reigning three-time CIS champion University of Windsor Lancers. Langlois has been named CIS defensive player of the year each of the past two seasons and was MVP of the 2011 and 2012 CIS championships. Williams claimed MVP honours at the 2013 CIS Final Eight.
A trio of CIS coaches will be at the helm in Russia, including head coach Fabian McKenzie from Cape Breton University and assistants Michèle Bélanger from Toronto and Chantal Vallée from Windsor.
Rounding out the Team Canada staff are team manager and performance analyst Jeff Speedy from UNB, head of delegation Denise Dignard from Canada Basketball, as well as therapist Patrice Pepin.
“We have a diverse group of young athletes from all corners of the country who have become a cohesive unit and are working very hard to represent Canada in a first-class manner,” said McKenzie, who was an assistant coach with the Universiade squad in 2009. “The coaching staff and the student-athletes are very excited about competing and testing ourselves against the best university-aged athletes in the world in Russia. This is another tremendous international growth opportunity for our athletes on their development path within the Women’s National Team Program.”
The team is training in Mississauga, Ont., until June 30. More training and exhibition games will follow in Kazan from July 2 to 7. The 16-team Universiade tournament is set for July 8-15.
In the preliminary round, Canada will battle in Pool C against Japan (July 8), Ukraine (July 9) and Taiwan (July 10), the silver medallists from 2011.
Japan finished 12th with a 1-5 record two years ago, while Ukraine did not compete at the event.
The other groups are made up of host Russia, Sweden, Poland and Mongolia in Pool A, the United States, Brazil, the Czech Republic and Belgium in Pool B, and Australia, Finland, China and Hungary in Pool D.
The USA are reigning two-time champions and have won three of the last four FISU tourneys. The Americans also lead the way with eighth titles overall since the inaugural competition in 1961.
Australia claimed the bronze medal in Shenzhen.