Canada Basketball (CB): Team Canada calls Edmonton their home. What does it mean to players and coaches to have that headquarters after years of being nomadic?

Lisa Thomaidis (LT): It’s wonderful to have a place that we are somewhat familiar with – there’s people we get to see day-in and day-out and the facility is fantastic. We’re going to call the Saville Centre our home court and to be able to test it out and play some games there is just remarkable for us moving forward. 

CB: There is a unique mix of young and old – well-seasoned veterans playing alongside young key talents. What is it like to coach that dynamic?

LT: It’s been really fun to watch. Our more experienced and veteran athletes have been tremendous in their mentorship of the younger ones. That has to continue for us to achieve our potential. The young ones, on the other hand, same thing – they’ve been great at being able to watch and learn, just to be sponges and take in as much as they possibly can from the experience of someone like Kim Smith. She’s a former Olympian and multiple World Championship participant, so those young ones have tons to learn while the older players have a lot to offer and that’s been a great relationship that will only get stronger. 

CB: What are you looking for from your group at the training camps? 

LT: This first camp is all about laying the groundwork while also forging ahead from what we put in place last summer. We’re always trying to adapt and keep improving, so we sent all of our players away with stuff the coaching staff wanted to see them improve upon. It will be fun to see how they’ve improved over their respective pro seasons or collegiate seasons. At the same time, we want to see how we can bring that group together to make this team that much stronger.