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Canada basketball
Holly MacKenzie

Canada opens FIBA Women's World Cup 2022 with match-up against Serbia

Canada (0-0) vs. Serbia (0-0)
When: Wednesday, Sept. 21 11 p.m. ET
Where: Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

Things to know heading into the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022:

Ready to go in Australia: The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 will feature the top 12 women’s national teams in Sydney, Australia where 38 games will be played across 10 days from Sept. 22 - Oct. 1. This is the 19th edition of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and the 12th appearance for Canada in the event. Canada’s highest finish is 3rd place which they’ve done twice, once in Seoul in 1979 and again in Vilnius, Minsk, Moscow in 1986. Canada enters the event ranked fourth in the FIBA World Ranking Women, presented by Nike.

Roster set: The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team roster is set for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022. With a mix of veteran and young talent, the 12 players who will represent Canada in Australia are Natalia Achonwa, Kayla Alexander, Laeticia Amihere, Bridget Carleton, Shay Colley, Nirra Fields, Mael Gilles, Taya Hanson, Sami Hill, Aislinn Konig, Phillipina Kyei and Kia Nurse. Head coach Víctor Lapeña will be joined by lead assistant coach Noelle Quinn and assistant coaches Steve Baur and Carly Clarke.

“After weeks of training camp and exhibition games, our team is more than ready to compete at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup,” Lapeña said. “With a roster that features a range of experience, from Olympic veterans to several players set to make their Senior national team debut, our goal is to not only be competitive, but to play an aggressive style of basketball and proudly represent Canada every time we step on the court.”

Group B: Canada was drawn into Group B for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022. They will face Serbia, France, Japan, host team Australia, and Mali in the group phase. Prior to heading to Australia, the team held a training camp in Edmonton, Alberta to prepare. Group B is stacked with talent. In addition to fourth ranked Canada, Australia is ranked third, France is sixth and Japan is ranked eighth in the world while also coming off a silver medal appearance at the Olympics.

An anticipated return: The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 will see the return of Kia Nurse to basketball competition after she has been sidelined for the past year following ACL surgery in her right knee. After cheering from the bench this WNBA season for the Phoenix Mercury, Nurse is ready to see the result of all of her hard work and rehab when she takes to the court.

“I’ve played two exhibition games in 11 months,” she said in a conference call from Australia on Monday. “I haven’t forgotten how to pass, or dribble, or shoot, it’s just a matter of being able to do that at a high clip and a high rate. That’s a lot of what I’m going to be working through.”

The 26-year-old Nurse has been with the Senior Women’s National Team since making her national team debut at 17 years old. Though she will be working her way back at this tournament, and playing with a minutes restriction at least to start, just having her presence and veteran leadership is welcomed by a Senior Women’s National Team that has several players making their Senior Women’s National Team Debut in Australia.

Where to watch: Fans in Canada can catch all of the action in Australia live on Sportsnet.