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Canada Basketball, Senior Women’s National Team Head Coach Víctor Lapeña agree to a contract extension

EDMONTON (May 21, 2024) – Canada Basketball and Senior Women’s National Team Head Coach Víctor Lapeña have signed a contract extension through the FIBA Women’s World Cup 2026, the organization announced today.

“On behalf of our Senior Women’s National Team, we’re excited to continue working with Víctor towards our short-term goals this summer while also continuing to build our program for sustained success in the future,” said Denise Dignard, General Manager / Executive Vice-President, Women's High Performance. “The passion and energy Víctor brings to our team are contagious, and I’m confident we’ll continue to grow as a group under his leadership and guidance.”

The extension will see Lapeña continue as head coach of the Senior Women’s National Team through the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2026, to be hosted in Germany. Canada Basketball will also collaborate with Lapeña to support his process to secure a head coaching role with a women’s European club, further evolving his world-class coaching experience.  

“I’m thrilled to continue working with Canada Basketball and to lead our Senior Women’s National Team over the next several years,” said Lapeña. “We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us this summer in Paris, and we will work tirelessly together to ensure that as a team, we are prepared to take the next step and realize our long-standing goal of a place on the podium.”

“I want to thank all our amazing players and coaching staff for their dedication and commitment to our program, as well as a special thank you to Denise Dignard, Michael Bartlett and everyone at Canada Basketball for their trust in me,” said Lapeña.

In February, Canada successfully qualified for their fourth consecutive Olympic Games with a decisive victory over Hungary at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024.  Before that, Canada went undefeated 3-0 at the FIBA Women's Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Medellín, Colombia.

Under the guidance of Lapeña, Canada also captured bronze at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2023 and a fourth-place finish at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, the team's best finish at a Women’s World Cup since a third-place finish in 1986.

Since being named to the position on January 6, 2022, Lapeña has led the team to a 17-7 record (.708) in FIBA competitions.

This extension includes an option for Lapeña to pursue professional head coaching opportunities with an agreed-upon understanding that he will be available for all national team obligations, including training and competition windows.

Before joining Canada Basketball, he spent several seasons as the head coach of Fenerbahçe in the Turkish Super League, where he led the team to the Turkish Women's Basketball Presidential Cup (2019), Turkish Women's Basketball Cup (2020) and a club-record 15th Women's Basketball Super League title in 2021.

A native of Zaragoza, Spain, Lapeña previously held several roles within the Spanish Basketball Federation, Federación Española de Baloncesto (FEB). During his years with Spain’s Senior Women’s National Team, he captured 14 international FIBA medals, including an Olympic silver medal (Rio 2016). He is a two-time Eurobasket champion (2013, 2017) and won a silver medal at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.

The Senior Women’s National Team is in training camp in Edmonton this week as they prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Canada was drawn into Group B for the tournament and will face hosts France (July 29, 11:15 a.m. ET / 9:15 a.m. MT), Australia (August 1, 7:30 a.m. ET / 5:30 a.m. MT) and Nigeria (August 4, 7:30 a.m. ET / 5:30 a.m. MT).

Canada will make its eighth appearance in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games since women’s basketball debuted at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team is ranked fifth in the FIBA World Ranking Women, presented by Nike. The rankings were updated following the conclusion of the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.