Edwards, Nurse named to Team Canada

Published on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 16:00
Written by CARL ADAMEC

Journal Inquirer

Kia Nurse represented Team Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro while playing with the UConn women’s basketball team.

The 2018 graduate and current member of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury will have some Huskies’ company on her team in Tokyo next month.

UConn sophomore Aaliyah Edwards was selected for Team Canada Tuesday and she’ll join Nurse on the 12-player roster. The 5x5 women’s basketball competition is scheduled to begin July 25 and finish with the gold-medal game Aug. 7.

“We’ve selected a team that is dynamic, relentless and together,” Team Canada coach Lisa Thomaidis said in a statement. “We have an exciting mix of youth and experience - a trio of three-time Olympians, along with six Olympic rookies. Half the team has represented Canada at previous Olympics, and we’ll be leaning on our collective experience to navigate our Tokyo journey.”

Edwards, a native of Kingston, Ontario, was the 2021 Big East Sixth Woman of the Year and a unanimous pick to the conference’s all-freshman team. The 6-foot-3 forward averaged 10.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. She represented Canada at the AmeriCup earlier this month and is the youngest player on Canada’s roster.

Canada qualified for Tokyo after going unbeaten at a FIBA qualifying tournament in Ostend, Belgium in February 2020.

In preliminary-round Group A play, Canada will face Serbia, South Korea, and Spain.

Joining Edwards and Nurse on Team Canada are Natalie Achonwa, Kayla Alexander, Laeticia Amihere, Miranda Ayim, Bridget Carleton, Shay Colley, Nirra Fields, Kim Gaucher, Shaina Pellington, and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe.

“There has been no greater honor for me than representing my country on the world stage this past decade,” said Achonwa, the former Notre Dame standout. “We’re focused on bringing a medal back to Canada and they say ‘third time’s the charm’ so hopefully, this is the summer our dreams come to fruition.”

Earlier this month, former UConn All-Americans Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Breanna Stewart, and Napheesa Collier were named to the United States 5x5 team. Fellow ex-Husky All-Americans Katie Lou Samuelson and Stefanie Dolson will take part in the inaugural 3x3 event.

In preliminary-round Group B play, Team USA will face Nigeria on July 27, host Japan on July 30, and France on Aug. 2.

The Americans have won the gold medal in six consecutive Olympic Games with UConn having at least one representative on each of those teams.

Posted in The Bristol Press, UConn on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 16:00. Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2021 16:03.