Achonwa among names headlining Canada’s basketball roster for World Cup training

Natalie Achonwa dribbles a ball during Canada's senior women's national team practice in Toronto, Friday, July 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

WNBA players Natalie Achonwa, Bridget Carleton and Kia Nurse headline Canada’s women’s basketball roster for its pre-World Cup training camp.

Nurse, a guard for the Phoenix Mercury, hasn’t played since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the WNBA playoffs last October.

Achonwa and Carleton were available immediately for the Canada camp since their Minnesota Lynx didn’t qualify for the current WBNA playoffs.

Head coach Victor Lapena selected 15 players for camp, which opened Wednesday and runs through Sept. 8. It’s the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic the Canadian women have gathered in Edmonton, which has been their base since 2013.

READ MORE: Lapena, Canadian women’s basketball team to gather in Edmonton ahead of World Cup

Following camp, the Canadians will travel to Sydney, Australia for a series of exhibition games Sept. 10-18.

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Canada is in a tough Group B for the World Cup. They’ll open against Serbia on Sept. 22 local time (or Sept. 21, 11 p.m. ET). They’ll then play France, Japan, and host Australia before closing the group phase against Mali.

The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals with the winners moving on to the semifinals and medal round.

Canada went 1-1 at the qualifying tournament in Osaka in February to clinch a berth.

The 19th FIBA women’s World Cup features the world’s 12 national teams, with 38 games played across 10 days in Sydney, Australia.

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The Canadian team, which was ousted in the preliminary round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is fourth in the FIBA world women’s ranking.

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Natalie Achonwa, forward, Guelph, Ont.; Kayla Alexander, forward, Milton, Ont.; Laeticia Amihere, forward, Mississauga, Ont.; Bridget Carleton, guard, Chatham, Ont.; Shay Colley, guard, Brampton, Ont.; Quinn Dornstauder, forward, Regina; Aaliyah Edwards, forward, Kingston, Ont.; Nirra Fields, guard, Montreal; Mael Gilles, guard, Montreal; Taya Hanson, guard, Kelowna, B.C.; Sami Hill, guard, Toronto; Aislinn Konig, guard, Langley, B.C.; Phillipina Kyei, forward, Calgary; Kia Nurse, guard, Hamilton, Ont.; Cassandre Prosper, guard/forward, Montreal.

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