Misssisauga, Brampton and Milton talents bolster Canada at Women’s World Cup basketball qualifier

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Published February 8, 2022 at 4:51 pm

Mississauga native Laeticia Amihere and fellow Olympic veterans Natalie Achonwa  and Bridget Carleton will lead Canada at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament.

Canada opens Group C play Thursday against host Japan before facing Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday.

The roster also includess guard Shay Colley  of Brampton and forward Kayla Alexander of Milton.

Hamilton native Kia Nurse will miss the event due to an injury.

Eleventh-ranked Belarus dropped out last week, citing COVID-19. But the remaining games of the tournament will take place as scheduled.

The top three teams at the qualifier were to advance to the World Cup, starting Sept. 22. As a result of the Belarus withdrawal, Canada, Japan and Bosnia and Herzegovina have already qualified for the World Cup which runs Sept. 22 to Oct. 1 in Sydney.

It marks Canada’s 12th appearance at the World Cup. The Canadian women’s best finish was third in both 1979 and 1986.

Belgrade will host two qualifying tournaments, with Washington, D.C. staging the other qualifier.

Host Australia and the Olympic champion U.S. have already qualified.

The Canadians are ranked fourth in the world, the best in the national team’s history. Japan is ranked eighth and Bosnia and Herzegovina 27th.

Along with Nurse, the Canadian team is also missing Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and college standout Shaina Pellington due to injuries. University of Connecticut star Aaliyah Edwards is unavailable due to NCAA commitments.

Canada had previously named a 19-woman preliminary roster that also included Delaney Gibb, Ruth Hamblin, Alex Kiss-Rusk, Ceejay Nofuente, Katherine Plouffe, Emily Potter and Cassandre Prosper.

The World Cup winner earns a berth in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

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