KAYLA ALEXANDER CONTINUES GREAT SENIOR YEAR
SYRACUSE (FIBA Americas Championship for Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - Canada is a country that is on the rise in international basketball with some of the top young talent in the sport about to make its mark in the senior teams.
The women's side played at the Olympics last summer and reached the Quarter-Finals, and figures to get stronger in the coming years with players like Kayla Alexander joining the fray.
The 22-year-old center, who has played for Canada's youth teams, is putting the finishing touches on a great career at Syracuse University in American college basketball.
Standing an imposing 1.92m in height, Alexander is a tower of power.
When the Orange are able to get her the ball in the low post, she's very difficult to stop.
Averaging 17.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, Alexander is a handful for all of Syracuse's opponents.
The Orange have benefitted, winning 22 of their 27 games this season.
Syracuse are ranked 22nd in the nation.
They blew an opportunity to climb in the standings on Tuesday in Indiana after second-ranked Notre Dame erased an early 15-point deficit and defeated Syracuse, 79-68.
The setback ruined a terrific game for Alexander, who had 24 points and 16 rebounds.
The aim for Alexander and her teammates all season has been to reach the NCAA Tournament.
When her career is over, though, Alexander will be able to talk about something else.
In January, she became the all-time leading scorer in Syracuse women’s basketball history.
Before she passed Nicole Michael (2007-10), who had 1,787 points, Alexander played down the record.
"I just go and play basketball," she said.
"I have fun playing the sport.
"When I came here my freshman year, that (the record) wasn't my goal.
"I came here to play and get time on the court."
Once her Syracuse career is over, Alexander will play professionally.
The coach of one team that she helped shut down this season, Maine boss Richard Barron, said of Alexander: "She's a (future) WNBA player."
She is a future Canada player, too.