OTTAWA (2022/07/18) - Commonwealth Sport Canada (CSC) and Canada Basketball today announced the athletes who will represent Team Canada in Basketball 3x3 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham England taking place July 28 to August 8, 2022.
Fresh off a gold medal with Canada at the inaugural GLOBL JAM, an international U23 tournament featuring some of the game’s rising stars, Taya Hanson, Rosalie Mercille, Sarah Te-Biasu, and Tara Wallack will now turn their focus to 3x3. With over 90 combined games in the red and white, the four players are more than familiar with representing Canada on the international stage. Prior to this year, Hanson and Te-Biasu played together for Canada at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2019 where Canada finished sixth, while Mercille and Wallack previously teamed up at both the FIBA U16 Americas Women’s Championship 2019, as well as the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2021.
“Representing your country playing the sport you love is the highest honour,” said Hanson. “The Commonwealth Games brings together the top athletes and unifies countries under a common goal. Following the recent attainment of a silver medal at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup, our quad is inspired to play with the same pride and passion that team showed. I’m grateful to Canada Basketball and Commonwealth Sport Canada for continuing to invest in the athletes and the sport of basketball.”
Canada’s men’s team will be led by 3x3 veteran Alex Johnson, who is currently the second-ranked Canadian and ranked 125th in the world according to the FIBA 3x3 Individual Rankings. Johnson previously played alongside teammate Bikramjit Gill, ranked third in Canada, at the inaugural FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup 2021 where the team finished fifth. He also has previously teamed up with Jordan Jensen-Whyte at several events, including the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2021 and several FIBA World Tour and Challenger events as a previous member of Team Edmonton. Adam Paige, who is currently playing for the Fraser Valley Bandits in the Canadian Elite Basketball League, rounds out the team and will make his much anticipated 3x3 debut at the Games.
“It’s an honour anytime you get to compete with Canada across your chest,” said Johnson. “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are another opportunity for Canada to not only continue building our 3x3 programs and teams, but to also gain valuable competition experience. The future of 3x3 basketball is bright in Canada and this competition is another important chance for us to build toward sustained success on the international stage.”
This is Basketball 3x3’s first ever appearance at the Commonwealth Games. The more familiar 5x5 version of the game has been contested twice at the Games, first in Melbourne in 2006, and again on the Gold Coast in 2018.
“After an exciting buzzer-beater semifinal win, the Canadian men reached the final and won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 5x5 format,” says Scott Stevenson, Executive Director, Team Canada 2022. “With the caliber of these teams, we look forward to many more exciting moments as both Canadian teams vie for medals.”
Basketball 3x3 will be played in the heart of Birmingham City Centre at the Smithfield site, which will be transformed in readiness for Birmingham 2022.
In advance of the Games, both Canadian teams will participate in a four-team exhibition tournament, July 25-26 in Birmingham where they’ll face England, Australia, and New Zealand.
Birmingham 2022 will feature 19 sports and eight para-sports as part of its program with up to 4,500 athletes taking part. The Commonwealth Games are the only multi-sport event that feature equal standing for sport and para-sport events, and these 2022 Games will showcase the largest para-sport program ever. In addition, for the first time in its history, the Games will feature more medal events for women (135) than men (133).
ABOUT TEAM CANADA 2022
The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be host to 72 participating nations and territories taking part in the Games. The Commonwealth Games are a valuable opportunity as a steppingstone and development opportunity for Canadian athletes, coaches, and managers working towards Olympic and Paralympic success. Canada’s performance projection in 2022 is a top 3 ranking, in total medals, amongst all nations and territories competing. Commonwealth athletes won 80%+ of Canada's medals at the 2020 Olympic Games
Team Canada’s dedicated mission team will provide an optimal environment by celebrating equality, diversity, and non-discrimination. This is in support of our goals needed to enable a best ever performance by Canadian athletes at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
ABOUT CANADA BASKETBALL
Canada Basketball is the National Sporting Organization for the sport of Basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball is respected worldwide and is recognized by the International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Government of Canada as the sole governing body of the sport of amateur basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball, a not-for-profit organization, represents all basketball interests, provides leadership, coordination and direction in all areas of the sport of basketball.
ABOUT COMMONWEALTH SPORT CANADA
Commonwealth Sport Canada (CSC) is the franchise holder for the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth sport movement in Canada. CSC is an active, contributing member of the Canadian sport community and supports Canada’s athletes to achieve excellence at Olympic, Paralympic Games, and world championships. The mission of CSC is to enrich the lives of youth across the Commonwealth and host the Commonwealth Games. CSC is responsible for all aspects of Canada’s participation in the XXII Commonwealth Games and will be sending a team of almost 400 of Canada’s best athletes and coaches to compete for Canada. The upcoming Games will occur in Birmingham, England from July 28 through to August 8, 2022. For additional information go to: www.commonwealthsport.ca.