Canada basketball
Canada Basketball

Five Canadians reach the Final Four at the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournaments

TORONTO, Ont. (April 2, 2021) -- Five Canadians are headed to the Final Four of the men and women’s NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournaments, which tip-off Friday night.

On the women’s side, a Canadian is guaranteed to win college basketball’s top prize for the first time since 2016 when Kia Nurse captured the title with the University of Connecticut Huskies. Each of the final four teams - UConn, Arizona, Stanford and South Carolina - have a Canadian player on the roster. 

Laeticia Amihere and Alyssa Jerome will face each other in the semifinals when South Carolina and Stanford hit the court at 6 PM ET on Friday evening. In the Gamecocks four games during the tournament, Amihere has averaged 11 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist. During the regular season, the sophomore averaged 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

On the other side of the court, Jerome appeared in 26 games as a Senior this season for the Cardinal and had a season high 14 points versus Oregon State back in February. She has registered five points and two assists for Stanford across their four games. 

Following South Carolina and Stanford, Aaliyah Edwards and her Senior Women's National Team teammate Shaina Pellington will go head-to-head during UConn and Arizona’s Final Four matchup at 9:30 PM ET. In her first game of the tournament, Edwards scored her third career NCAA double-double in her March Madness debut against High Point with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Kingston, ON native has had a strong showing at the tournament, scoring 19 points against Syracuse and 18 points over Iowa. So far, she’s averaged 14.5 points per game, 6.7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Pellington helped lead Arizona to their first Final Four appearance in program history with an average of 4.5 points, 1 rebound and 1.7 assists per game during the tournament.  In her first season with the Wildcats after transferring from Oklahoma, the 5'8" guard from Pickering, ON averaged 5.6 points per game this year.

Pellington and Edwards were most recently teammates during the FIBA Women's Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament 2019 in Edmonton as Canada went undefeated to advance to the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

On the men’s side, Andrew Nembhard is the last Canadian standing in the hunt for the NCAA trophy. The Aurora, ON native is looking to become the first Canadian to win the title since Kyle Wiltjer, a former Bulldog himself, won the championship with the University of Kentucky in 2012.

He’ll take on UCLA with the Bulldogs at 8:34 PM ET on Saturday night. Earlier in the tournament, the Gonzaga guard had a standout performance against Creighton with 17 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds in their 83-65 victory. During the tournament, he’s put up an average of 8.7 points, 4.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. Earlier this season, Nembhard, who transferred from Florida, was named the West Coast Conference's 6th Man of the Year and to the All-WCC Second Team.

Nembhard has been a mainstay within Canada's Men's National Team programs, since first representing the red and white back at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men. Most recently, he was the youngest member of a Canadian team that returned in 2019 to the FIBA Basketball World Cup for the first time since 2010.

Andrew Nembhard - Junior - Guard - 6’5” - Aurora, ON - Gonzaga

Saturday, March 20 @ 9:20pm vs #16 Norfolk State - W 98-55 (4 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds)

Monday, March 22 @ 2:40pm EDT vs #8 Oklahoma - W 87-71 (7 points, 2 assists)

Sunday, March 28 @ 2:10pm EDT vs #5 Creighton - W 83-65 (17 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds) 

Tuesday, March 30 @ 7:15pm EDT vs #6 USC - W 85-66 (7 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound)

Saturday, April 3 @ 8:34pm EDT vs #11 UCLA

Laeticia Amihere - Sophomore - Forward - 6’4” - Mississauga, ON - South Carolina

Sunday, March 21 @ 6:00pm EST vs #16 Mercer - W 79-53 (11 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist)

Tuesday, March 23 vs #6 Oregon St. - W 59-42 (8 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist)

Sunday, March 28 @ 1:00pm EST vs #5 Georgia Tech - W 76-65 (15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist)

Tuesday, March 30 @ 7:00 pm EST vs #6 Texas - W 62-34 (10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist)

Friday, April 2 @ 6:00 pm EST vs #1 Stanford

Aaliyah Edwards - Freshman - Forward - 6’3” - Kingston, ON - UConn

Sunday, March 21 @ 8:00pm EST vs #16 High Point - W 102-59 (17 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist)

Tuesday, March 23 vs #8 Syracuse - W 83-74 (19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists)

Saturday, March 27 @ 1:00pm vs #5 Iowa - W 92-72 (18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists)

Monday, March 29 @ 7:00pm vs #2 Baylor - W 69-67 (4 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist)

Friday, April 2 @ 9:30pm vs #3 Arizona

Alyssa Jerome - Senior - Forward - 6’3” - Toronto, ON - Stanford

Sunday, March 21 @ 10:00pm EST vs #16 Utah Valley - W 87-44 (5 rebounds, 1 assist)

Tuesday, March 23 vs #8 Oklahoma State - W 73-62

Sunday, March 28 @ 3:00pm vs #5 Missouri State - W 89-62 (1 assist)

Tuesday, March 30 @ 9:00pm vs #2 Louisville - W 78-63

Friday, April 2 @ 6:00pm vs #1 South Carolina

Shaina Pellington - Junior (RS) - Guard - 5’8” - Pickering, ON - Arizona

Monday, March 22 @ 2:00pm EST vs #14 Stony Brook - W 79-44 (5 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists)

Wednesday, March 24 vs #11 BYU - W 52-46 (5 points, 1 rebound)

Saturday, March 27 @ 8:00pm vs #2 Texas A&M - W 74-59 (6 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists)

Monday, March 29 @ 9:00pm vs #4 Indiana - W 66-53 (2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist)

Friday, April 2 @ 9:30pm vs #1 UConn