TORONTO, Ont. (June 7, 2021) -- Canada Basketball announced Monday the coaching staff that will lead Canada later this summer at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021.
Paul Weir has been named head coach and will be accompanied by assistant coaches Patrick Tatham, Shawn Swords, and Justin Serresse.
The FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 is scheduled for July 3-11, 2021 in Riga and Daugavplis, Latvia.
“Having been a part of this experience before, I am incredibly grateful to be able to take this journey again with an amazing group of players and staff,” said Weir. “We are honoured to represent our country in the beautiful game of basketball and look forward to a successful campaign.”
Formerly the men’s basketball head coach at the University of New Mexico, Weir is more than familiar with Team Canada as he was an assistant coach on Roy Rana’s staff that captured a historic gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Cup 2017 in Egypt. Prior to joining the University of New Mexico, Weir spent 10 years with New Mexico State University before being named head coach in 2016 and guiding the Aggies to the program's seventh WAC Men's Basketball Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Tatham returns to the sidelines for Canada after serving as an assistant coach at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship 2019. A native of Brampton, Ont. Tatham took over as head coach of the McMaster Marauders in 2017 after spending the 2016-17 season as an assistant coach with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. During the 2015-16, as interim head coach of the Ryerson Rams, Tatham led the team to a 17-2 regular season record and captured the program’s first Wilson Cup title as OUA conference champions. He was recognized for his efforts as he earned OUA Coach of the Year honour and was awarded the Stu Aberdeen Trophy as CIS Coach of the Year.
For over 25 years, Swords has been involved with Canada Basketball as both a player and coach. Swords, who represented Canada for over 10 years, including the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, is currently the head coach at Laurentian University, a position he has held since 2007 following a lengthy playing career in Europe. The Ottawa, Ont. native has coached several different national teams and returns to the U19 age group for the first time since the 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, which was also hosted in Latvia.
Serresse will make his FIBA coaching debut for Canada after serving as an assistant coach at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy. However, this won’t be his first time involved with a Canada Basketball program as he was a high-performance coach at the Canada Basketball Junior Academy for the 2015-16 season. Serresse is currently the head coach at Wilfrid Laurier University and joined the Laurier Golden Hawks in 2016 after serving as the Lead Assistant Coach at the University of Ottawa from 2010-16.
The sixteen (16) participating teams in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 have been divided into four (4) groups (A, B, C, and D) of four (4) teams each. Each team will play against all other teams in its own group (a total of 3 games for each team).
Canada is in Group A along with Senegal, Lithuania, and Japan.
All teams qualify for the Round of 16, where they will cross between Groups A and B and C and D (A1 v B4, A2 v B3, etc.). The winners of the Round of 16 games advance to the Quarter-Finals, while the losers move on to the Classification Games for Places 9-16.