There will be no shortage of Canada West connections on the hardcourt for Canada at the Commonwealth Games, as Basketball Canada announced its teams for the upcoming Games in Gold Coast, Australia on Tuesday.
A total of six CW men’s players, along with Summer Masikewich on the women’s team, are headed to the Games, which are set for April 4-15.
The men’s team features Justus Alleyn (Manitoba), Mambi Diawara (Calgary), David Kapinga (Calgary), Mamadou Gueye (Alberta), Conor Morgan (UBC), and Grant Shephard (UBC). Manitoba head coach Kirby Schepp will lead the team, and is joined by UBC head coach Kevin Hanson, who is an assistant coach on the staff.
Alleyn led CW in scoring this past season with 24.1 points per game, while Morgan was named CW Player of the Year, and Shephard took home the CW Rookie of the Year award. Meanwhile, Diawara, and Kapinga are coming off Calgary’s first men’s basketball national title in program history.
Gueye was a CW second team all-star for Alberta, who topped the conference regular season with a 19-1 record, but fell to Calgary in the CW Championship Game earlier this month.
All 12 of the players named to the men’s team are U SPORTS players, with Canada West’s six players leading the way among U SPORTS’ four conferences (5 OUA and 1 AUS).
“Having the opportunity to represent Canada is always a tremendous honour and to do so at the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be a great experience for our U SPORTS players,” said Schepp.
Masikewich is the lone Canada West player on the women’s team, and is one of three U SPORTS players on the squad, as the Saskatchewan Huskie is joined by McGill’s Alex Kiss-Rusk, and Carleton’s Catherine Traer.
Canada is making its basketball debut at the Commonwealth Games, as Basketball Canada didn’t enter teams at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, which marked the only other time the sport has been part of the event program.
Both teams will make their Commonwealth Games debut on Friday, April 6 and fans in Canada can catch all the action streaming live on DAZN.
Canada’s men’s team will open the tournament at 5:30 PM local (1:30 AM MT) against Australia at the Cairns Convention Centre, while the women will face England at 6:30 PM local (2:30 AM MT) from the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.