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MISSISSAUGA,ON–This past weekend, the top young women in the country participated in a National Identification camp over the Easter holiday held by Canada basketball, still pending as we speak.
The following crop of female talent are essentially trying out for the junior and caddette national teams to represent the country this summer at the world championships!
Players have flown in from across Canada with representation from Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, PEI, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Ontario.
How and where are these top players spotted?
“We work with our provincial associations to identify athletes through joint programs that we’ve developed,” explained Denise Dignard, Women’s Elite performance Manager.
“We also send coaches that are a visual frame of reference of the international top level of each age group; we send them to national championships where they can see athletes in competition.”
The swarm of talent in the UofT-Mississauga gym was evident and gushing with NCAA prospects. Among NCAA hopefuls was 2013 star point guard Dakota Whyte of Ajax, Ontario. Whyte has major programs recruiting her including Marquette, Iowa State, Purdue, Michigan, Dayton. However, Whyte (currently in grade 11) will use this unique camp experience to elevate her game to yet another level.
“It’s definitely a different atmosphere when you’re going hard against someone that is just as good as you. I like to play with the best of the best so I’m glad I had the experience to come out and play,” said Whyte.
In the past, Canada Basketball focused on running plays, which was discovered to be a disservice to the athletes. Therefore, a new system has been implemented where basketball fundamentals and individual development have taken the front line.
In Canada basketball’s new player development model, individual work with players has been stressed.
As for the goals set this summer for the U19 World championship in Chile, the objective is top three. The juniors have finished seventh twice in a row and last year placed fourth, just missing medal contention.
In the meantime, the development will continue.
Dignard professed, “They’re competing at a really intense and competitive level and that’s the ‘Canadiana brand’ They will run through a wall, so this is a major stepping stone for each athlete.”
Nirra Fields| 2012| 5’9 PG| Oak Hill academy
Quebec native, Fields played high school basketball one year in Canada at Lakeside Academy before transferring to American Powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. Fields was one of the most notable players at the camp. Keep tabs on her as she is a MAJOR prospect with superior speed, handle and athleticism. Fields is able to get to any spot that she desire on the court, at any time. Nirra was the top scorer in the entire U17 championship. No other women has reached this feat at any age level in Canadian history!
“Nirra Fields has a chanceto be the best in the world”- Team Manager, Denise Dignard.
Dakota Whyte| 2013| 5’8 PG|Notre Dame
Whyte displayed great leadership and communication throughout the drills and scrimmage. Another blatantly noticable aspect is her receptiveness which was present with all the girls at the camp. Whyte is a willing learner with a very bright future. The combination of Whyte and fields on the peimeter will be deadly!
“First I have to make the team, I’m one of the youngest on the team but I feel blessed that I have this opportunity to tryout, I’m actually looking forward to play international ball.”
“I want to go and play against the best in the world.”- Dakota Whyte
Karly Roser|2011| 5’10 SG| Northwestern Commit [NCAA]
Roser on her commiting to NorthWesterm
“Pretty excited, kind of nervous at the same time, but they’re balancing each other out right now.”
“I wanted a balance of academics and athletics and they’re the best combination that I found and the coach is really well respected down there.”
Michigan, Marquette, and Michigan State also offered.
“This is my fourth time trying out so it would mean a lot. I played with the cadette team the last two years, but this is now the junor nationals.”
NOTE: A few key players were unable to attend this camp including Michelle Riche and the Plouffe twins, Katherine and Michelle due to school.
PHOTO COURTESY: ESPN & Jeremy Lim
|Nirra Fields||PG||5’10||Lachine, QC||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)|
|Rashida Timbilla||G||6’1||Ottawa, ON||John McCrae Secondary School|
|Karly Roser||PG||5’10||Hamilton, ON||St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School|
|Kellie Ring||PG||5’9″||Ottawa, ON||Louis Riel Secondary School|
|Shalie Dheensaw||F||6’3″||Victoria, BC||Claremont High School|
|Alex Kiss-Rusk||P||6’3″||Beaconsfield, QC||Andover Phillips Academy|
|Dakota Whyte||PG||5’7″||Ajax, ON||Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School|
|Sami Hill||PG||5’9″||Toronto, ON||Eastern Commerce High School|
|Isidora Purkovic||P||5’11”||Calgary, AB||Western Canada High School|
|Alisha Roberts||PG||5’7″||Burnaby, BC||York House|
|Taijah Campbell||F||6’2″||Ajax, ON||Pickering High School|
|Sophie Beaudry||P||6’3″||Chambly, QC||Collège Notre-Dame de Lourdes|
|Becky Nash||P||6’4″||Ajax, ON||Pickering High School|
|Kristjana Young||W||6’0″||North Vancouver, BC||University of British Columbia|
|Adut Bulgak||P||6’4″||Edmonton, AB||Archbishop O’Leary Catholic High School|
|Catherine Traer||G||6’1″||Chelsea, QC||Louis Riel Secondary School|
|Kia Nurse||PG||5’11”||Hamilton,ON||St. Thomas More H.S.|
|Khaleann Caron-Goudreau||WING||6’1″||Gatineau, QC||Nicolas Gatineau|
|Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau||WING||6’1″||Gatineau, QC||Nicolas Gatineau|
|Aimee Wilson||FORWARD||6’2″||Chestermere, AB||Chestermere High School|
|Emma Wolfram||POST||6’4″||Kamloops, BC||South Kamloops|
|Katie Daley||PG||5’8″||Hanwell, NB||Fredericton High School|
|Jane McLaughlin||GUARD||5’9″||Souris, PEI||Souris Regional High School|
|Alison Keough||POST||6’0||Marion Bridge, NS||Riverview Rural High School|
|Hannah Jardine||WING||6′ 0″||St. John’s, NL||O’Donel High School|
|Charlotte Kot||FORWARD||6’0||Regina, SK||Leboldus High School|
|Emily Potter||POST||6’4″||Winnipeg, MB||Glenlawn Collegiate|
|Saicha Grant-Allen||FORWARD||6’4||Hamilton, ON||Glendale High School|
|Mikalah Mulrain||FORWARD||6’2||Brampton, ON||Central West High School|
|Cheyenne Roger||POST||6’2||Etobicoke, ON||Michael Power/St. Joseph’s|
|Anmol Mattu||PG||5’3″||Richmond, BC||Steveston-London|
|Maya Olynyk||GUARD||5’10||Kamloops, BC||South Kamloops|
|Kayla Gordon||GUARD||5’10”||Prince George, BC||Cedars Christian|
|Kolbie Orum||WING||6’2″||Maple Ridge, BC||Maple Ridge|
|Michelle Bos||GUARD||5’9||Surry, BC||Holy Cross High School|
|Eternati Willock||FORWARD||6’2″||Scarborough, ON||Cardinal Leger Catholic School|