The Canadian Women’s Basketball Team secured their first win of the 2016 Olympics on Saturday, August 6th, defeating China 90-68. “I thought it was a great way to start the tournament,” noted Coach Lisa Thomaidis in the team media release. Team Canada has been working to integrate younger players and veteran players leading up to the Rio Games.
Thomaidis will rely on players like Kim Gaucher to guide the team. The team captain earned her 200th appearance on Saturday, leading the team with 10 rebounds, while also notching 7 assists and 3 points. Gaucher, has played with Team Canada since 2001 and also brings professional experience, having played in the WNBA, as well as in Spain and France.
Kim is the leader Thomaidis is relying on to incorporate younger players like Kia Nurse into the fold.
Nurse, although a young player on Team Canada, brings a UCONN pedigree to the Canadian team. The rising junior brings collegiate success and celebrity to a team looking to evolve. “What we’re really good at is playing as a team and cohesion,” noted Kia after the exhibition win over France at Madison Square Garden on July 31st. “The unity that we play with,” continued Nurse, “will be on display in Rio as well.”
Team Canada did just that, seeing productivity from all players, “We had contributions from absolutely everyone. 41 of our 90 points came from our bench,” stated Coach Thomaidis, “I think that just speaks to our depth of talent and ability to put different people in and see them contribute.”
Tamara Tatham, who lead Canada with 20 points, noted that there are still things Canada wants to improve, “We came out, we missed a couple of easy ones under the basket,” noted Tatham in the team media release. Canada eventually got a feel for the game, showing the capacity to overcome adversity, “we cleaned it up pretty quickly and really ran away with it in the second half,” continued Tatham, “so we’re really happy about that.”
Thomaidis and her players will take on Serbia on Monday at 1:15pm EST. Follow the Female Coaching Network and MyWSports for more Olympic coverage.
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