VICTORIA – Canada’s Under 16 men’s basketball team finished second at the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship yesterday, Jun. 18, after suffering a 111-60 loss to the United States. University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball head coach Craig Beaucamp guided this Canadian side to the finals after the team went undefeated all the way through to the finals.
Canada picked up wins over Argentina, Paraguay and Venezuela to top Pool A, while they defeated Puerto Rico 81-66 in the semifinals before facing their North American rivals, USA, in the final. Luka Sakota (Etobicoke, ON) scored a team-high 17 points in the final, while Cashius McNeilly (Scarborough, ON) and Shemar Rathan-Mayes (Toronto, ON) added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Cashius McNeilly, Shemar Rathan-Mayes, Malachi Ndur, Benjamin Krikke and Charles Bediako started for Canada.
“I’m proud of what the team was able to accomplish,” said Beaucamp following the tournament. “Qualifying for the world championships next summer was the number one goal coming in. Winning a silver medal is something the players should be proud of even though you have to lose the gold to do so. We played a very good USA team that was full value for the win and clearly the dominant team of the tournament.”
Previously, Beaucamp has had prior experience with Canada Basketball, serving as an assistant coach with the U18 Men’s National Team in 2006, 2007, and 2016 and at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Mexico. He was also a guest coach with the Senior Men’s National Team from 2013-2016.
“The opportunity to coach the CMNT this summer was a great opportunity for me personally,” adds Beaucamp who has been at the helm of the Vikes for 14 years now. “Coaching with and against some of the best coaches in the world gives you a chance to get better. Every experience is a learning opportunity. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and thankful to all the coaches and support staff that helped us accomplish our goal. I look forward to the CMNT taking another step at next year’s World Championships.”
The top 5 teams of the tournament move on to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in 2018.
Final standings of the FIBA U16 Americas Championship:
3. Puerto Rico*
5. Dominican Republic*
*Qualified to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018