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Go Canada Go! Go Ca GoOUR Canada Go! Go Ca Go Canada Go! Go Ca GoGAME Canada Go! Go Ca Go Canada Go! Go Ca You can send Canada’s Teams to the Canada Go! Go Canada 2010 FIBA World Championships… Canada Go! Go Canada Canada Go! Go Canada Canada Go! Go Canada Canada Go! Go Canada da Go! Go Canada Go da Go! Go Canada Go da Go! Go Canada Go da Go! Go Canada Go da Go! Go Canada Go ada Go! Go Canada Go April 2010

Official newsletter of Canada Basketball

...find out how inside


• Want to coach Team Canada for a day? Now you can! • Previewing Canada’s National Teams • CCAA and CIS National Championship • Alumni Connect with Sylvia Sweeney • Chalk Talk with Mike MacKay • And more!


Texting For Team Canada Text HOOPS now to 30333 to donate $5


ow much does it cost to introduce Canada to the World? Starting March 12, people can text HOOPS to 30333 to make a $5.00 donation charged directly to the caller’s cellphone bill. “Mobile giving is a first for Canada Basketball and we thank our partners for creating an innovative and efficient tool to engage a new and younger demographic to support their peers, our national athletes, as they train to compete on the global stage,” said Wayne Parrish, Executive Director and CEO of Canada Basketball. Canada’s elite basketball players are making history in 2010. For the first time, the national teams have successfully qualified for all four FIBA World Championships. In fact, Canada is one of only six nations in the world to share this distinction, joining an elite group of dominant basketball nations including Australia, Argentina, China, the U.S. and Spain.

Thanks to technology partners, the giving process is simple: • Text the word HOOPS to 30333 to give $5.00. • When prompted, reply with YES to confirm your one-time gift. Through an unprecedented partnership with the Mobile Giving Foundation Canada, MyThum Interactive and Canada Basketball, the text-to-give campaign provides access to a broader audience of people who want to make an immediate difference. The mobile channel offers people an easy and efficient way to give by using wireless technology without prohibitive fees. One hundred per cent of donations will directly benefit Canada’s national basketball teams. “Thanks to the Mobile Giving Foundation and the wireless community working together, basketball fans can help get Canada to the 2010 worlds by making a $5.00 mobile

donation,” said Michael Carter, President and CEO of MyThum Interactive. “We have seen great success with mobile donations for various causes in our country. We are pleased to work with Canada Basketball to provide an effective and efficient way for Canadians to make a difference in sport.” TV Ad Spots during NBA Games Joel Anthony from the NBA’s Miami Heat and Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team headline a lineup of national team players and staff that will appear in 15-second spots encouraging viewers to text-to-give. The ads will air during NBA games on The Score, TSN, TSN2 and Raptors NBA TV during March and April. The text-to-give campaign will continue to run throughout the summer corresponding with the four World Championship events.

WIN A Guest

Coaching Experience Text BALL and your name to 24680 to opt-in to win

Triano, Donohue, Rautins. YOU? Do you have what it takes to lead Canada’s team? As an added bonus for the diehard Canadian hoops fan, Canada Basketball is also running a text-to-win contest for a guest coach spot with Canada’s Senior Men’s Team. From March 12-April 19, mobile users can text BALL and your name to 24680 to opt-in to win. Interested fans can enter as often as they like (no purchase necessary and standard message rates may apply). Join Head Coach Leo Rautins on the bench at a domestic showdown for global supremacy leading up to the 2010 World Championship. The grand prize also includes airfare, accommodation, a pre-game locker room tour and a meet-and-greet with

Canada’s 2010 Senior Men’s Team. All contest entrants will then have the option to give back and assist Canada’s World Championship Teams by texting HOOPS to 30333 to make a one-time $5.00 donation. Michael Carter, President and CEO of MyThum Interactive is eager to pilot this contest-and-donation concept adding, “the text to win AND donate is a first for the Canadian market and we hope to see tremendous results from the point of engagement to the pledge of donations.” For complete contest details, including rules and regulations, visit the “Contest” section at Enter now! Hurry contest closes April 19, 2010 @ 11:59 PM EST.

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s m a e T l a n o ti a N n ia d a Can 0 1 0 2 r e m m u S : s n o ti ti e p m Co Team



Junior Women

FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women

USA (June 23-27)

Junior Men

FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men

USA (June 26-30)

Cadet Men

FIBA U17 World Championship for Men

Germany (July 2-11)

Cadette Women

FIBA U17 World Championship for Women

France (July 16-25)

Senior Men

FIBA World Championship for Men

Turkey (Aug. 28 - Sept. 12)

Senior Women

FIBA World Championship for Women

Czech Republic (Sept. 23 - Oct. 3)

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National Team Summer Preview By: Simon Yau


anadian hoops fans have a busy summer to look forward to as all six of Canada’s National Teams will be in action, while even more impressive; four of those squads (Cadet Men, Senior Men, Cadette Women and Senior Women) will be competing for World Championship titles in the upcoming months. Although FIBA events take place in the summer, athletes, coaches, administrators and many others prepare year round to represent Canada on the world’s biggest hardcourt stages. Canada’s basketball prospects continue to rise, and from U17’s all the way through the senior ranks, donning the Red and White is always the thrill of a lifetime. “It is the ultimate honour to represent your country in a World event,” explains Roy Rana, coach of the Cadet Men’s National Team. “For our young athletes this experience will further instill pride and inspire them to continue representing Canada throughout their careers. The qualification of our Cadets is a strong testament to all the work being put in at the development

level by so many passionate basketball people”. Not a small fact to consider: Canada is one of only six countries to qualify four teams for this year’s World Championship events, joining an elite basketball quorum that includes Australia, Argentina, China, Spain and the United States. “We are heading in the right direction,” says Senior Men’s National Team coach Leo Rautins about Canada’s unprecedented success. “If one were to consider that we do not have the budget, facilities, nor talent pool of experienced players that the other countries in that mix have, it is a great testament to the commitment and dedication of our coaches and players”. Although most coaches have not set concrete schedules for this upcoming summer, some rough details have already been discussed. The U17 squads will have a busy month of June, bringing in players and making roster selections. By that time, Canada’s Men’s and Women’s Junior teams will already be competing in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Meanwhile, both the Senior Women and Men plan to split their summer preparation into two segments, complimented by possible exhibition games in Ontario, British Columbia and Europe. Speaking of roster selection, very few coaching decisions are often as secondguessed as the very first ones a National Team head coach has to make. “Every year our coaching staff goes into the summer looking for 12 athletes that will make the best team to represent Canada,” says Allison McNeill, head coach of Canada’s Senior Women’s team. “It is always competitive to make the National Team and no spots are guaranteed,” says McNeill. “We do have a core of veteran athletes and they have a great deal of international experience, but with that said, we are always looking to add to the team to make it stronger.” So with all the commotion, what should Canadians expect from their various basketball teams around the globe? “Every team is different and at this point we don’t know exactly what personality this

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Canada is one of only six countries to qualify four teams for all four 2010 FIBA World Championships

summer’s team will have,” says McNeill. “Last year’s team that qualified for the World Championships had great team chemistry, energy, enthusiasm - and they loved to compete,” says McNeill about her Senior Women. “I suspect this summer’s team will have those same qualities. I know they will represent Canada well and will make Canadian fans proud”. Despite only coaching one team, it’s not hard to imagine McNeill was actually describing what to expect from all of Canada’s players. For Canadian basketball fans, that’s definitely something to look forward to.



Northern Hoop Dreams By: Mike Barbin


s the sport of basketball continues to grow across Canada, the capacity to continue its development becomes important. In an effort to nurture the growth of basketball in this country, Canada Basketball, the national governing body for the sport, will be expanding its reach to the territory of Nunavut. Despite its small population base, Nunavut presents Canada Basketball with a large opportunity to expand in a very unique region of Canada. “Right here in our own country we have a chance to introduce basketball to a new community and make it a thriving part of the Nunavut culture” said Wayne Parrish, CEO and Executive Director for Canada Basketball. Since last autumn, Canada Basketball began communication with Sport Nunavut to develop strategies to introduce and expose the game to more youth in the territories. Plans were arranged to target three communities – Baker Lake, Pond Inlet and Igloolik. The primary purpose will be to work with the stakeholders in the community to develop such programs that give the children of Nunavut a chance to play basketball, train the coaches to reach NCCP

certification levels and launch Steve Nash Youth Basketball in the communities. “We thank Sport Nunavut for their generous hospitality and for taking the initiative in inviting Canada Basketball to meet with the wonderful people of Baker Lake, Pond Inlet and Igloolik,” said Parrish. “What an amazing and historical experience for everyone involved, especially the passionate youth and coaches in Nunavut who have the desire to learn more about our great sport.” The first visit took place on February 5-8, 2010, as Ron Yeung -- manager of Steve Nash Youth Basketball -- travelled to Baker Lake. “This is the first time Canada Basketball has been to Nunavut, and it’s groundbreaking,” said Yeung. It’s a chance to bring basketball north, train coaches, and give the children in these communities a chance to play basketball at an organized level with qualified coaches.” Through the introduction of the SNYB program, the objective is to offer a well structured basketball program that is fun and enjoyable, with emphasis on appropriate training at different stages of development for young athletes. It is the mandate

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of the program that all participants will receive the proper training that will produce well rounded athletes and maintain a lifelong passion for the sport. The second visit took place on March 19-22 in Pond Inlet, with the last of the three visits taking place in May to Igloolik. “I have the opportunity to bring basketball to these children and their families, but I also have a chance to see what a unique culture there is in Nunavut,” said Yeung. “It’s a chance of a lifetime for me and to do it while bringing basketball to these kids is very rewarding.” Since the inception of SNYB in 2007, the program has experienced tremendous growth and success. The program currently operates in ten provinces and three territories consisting of over 19,000 participants and 2,000 coaches. The SNYB program gives the youth of Nunavut an opportunity to participate in Canada’s basketball developmental program. The program directly aligns with Sport Nunavut’s mandate to promote and develop amateur sport in Nunavut by delivering programs and services for the development of athletes, coaches, and officials in Nunavut.




ith both the men’s and women’s national basketball teams heading for the World Championships this summer, it is time to reflect on one of the great individual players to ever represent Canada on the international stage. It was back in 1979 when Sylvia Sweeney helped team Canada, coached by Don McCrae, to a third-place finishing at the World Championships held in Seoul, Korea. Team Canada won eight of nine games played and finished the championship round tied with Korea and the United States for first place. Unfortunately, Canada was relegated to third place because of a point differential system that gave the Americans the gold medal while Korea took the silver. Sweeney was the team’s X-factor and was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Even today, Sweeney’s memories focus on that team’s inability to win a gold medal. “It was weird because before the game one of the players came into the locker room and said ‘we can lose the game by 12 points and still win the gold medal,’” Sweeney recalled. “You can feel the intensity seeped out of the room after the comment and we ended up losing by 16 points and settling for the bronze medal.” Success followed Sweeney on and off the basketball court. The Montreal native played for three different Canadian universities helping McGill and Concordia to league titles and Laurentian University to a national championship in 1979. But basketball was never the be-all, end-all for the multitalented Sweeney. After retirement she quickly immersed herself in the entertainment and business world with great success. “I was fortunate because my mother taught us never to leave something but always go to something else,” Sweeney said. “So when I wanted to stop ballet I didn’t tell my mother I wanted to quit ballet but rather I wanted to play the cello, I think the world is kinder to people with varied interests”. In the late 1980s, Sweeney entered television and then become an award winning filmmaker whose documentaries have appeared on WTSN, W Network, TVOntario, History Television and Vision TV. One of her most famous television productions was In the Key Of Oscar, a 1992 documentary about her uncle, Oscar Petersen. Sweeney’s influence is still felt in the sport world. Canadian Interuniversity Sport and TSN present an annual Sylvia Sweeney Award to a Canadian women’s university basketball player who best exemplifies the values of athletics, academics and community involvement.

Alumni Connect

Sylvia Sweeney

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By: Mike Hickey



CIS & CCAA National Champions Crowned By: Cameron Mitchell


Courtesy: Freestyle Photography Official CIS Men’s Championship photos available at:

he 2010 “kings of the court” were decided as the Canadian Intercollegiate Sports (CIS) and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) saw their seasons culminate in tournament finals throughout the month of March. First up was the women’s CIS final that saw the top seeded Simon Fraser University (SFU) win their first ever back-to-back championship with a 7756 win over the number two ranked Windsor Lancers. The title was the fifth in team history for the SFU Clan with their other titles coming in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009. CIS player of the year and tournament MVP Robyn Buna, a fourth year forward from Kelowna B.C., led the Clan with 17 points. She was followed closely by Canadian Senior Women’s National Team member Laurelle Weigl who had 16 points in the final at McMaster University. On the men’s side, the story of the tournament was the Cinderella performance of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies who rode a staunch defensive game all the way to a tournament victory at Scotiabank Place in the nation’s capital. The win marked the first men’s basketball CIS national title for the Huskies since the school’s inception in 1907. Saskatchewan entered the tournament seeded fifth and had a magical run that started with a narrow 71-68 victory over the Windsor Lancers, followed by a huge upset of tournament favorites the Carleton Ravens in the second round, and finally culminating in a 98-81 victory over the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the final. Huskies guard Showron Glover led the way in the final with a 28 point game to go along with 10 assists, both tournament highs. The performance

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was enough to get him player of the game honors. Six-foot-eight Huskies forward Troy Gottselig, scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the final and received the Jack Donohue trophy as tournament MVP. The women’s CCAA championship was decided at the UBC Okanagan campus, and a dynasty-like performance was put forth by the Ste-Foy Dynamiques of Quebec who won their third straight national championship. The Dynamiques met the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics in the tournament final. The game was close at the half with the Dynamiques up 29-28 but they broke away in the third with a 20-0 run which propelled them into the fourth with a 53-36 lead. The final score was 69-55 in favor of the Dynamiques. Third-year Dynamiques player, Catherine Groleau, scored 24 points on 10 for 18 shooting as she capture both player of the game and Tournament MVP honors. The men’s CCAA championships took place at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary. The tournament saw the host team lose a 96-63 final to the University of Northern British Columbia Northern Timberwolves. The Northern Timberwolves entered the eight-team tournament ranked first, and they never faltered in their quest for the school’s first ever CCAA hard-court crown. They finished the tournament with victories over the Fanshawe College Falcons, the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics, and eventually the SAIT Trojans. Timberwolves guard Inderbir Gill was named the player of the game on the heels of a 32 point performance. He also garnered tournament MVP honors.


Coaching So often when we introduce passing to athletes we have them face each other, chest to chest. The problem is that this face to face, static pass is rarely made in competition or practice where defence is involved. There is still a need to introduce this to young athletes, but this should soon be followed by the side pass. Introduction Instead of facing each other the players are now side by side. In the example one player is facing forward the other backward. You can also face the same direction. They will need to practice both as the target for the receiver will be different. The players will need time to wobble. It may be best to let them try it on their own at the wall first. They will need to get a feel for the placement of the hands on the ball and the wrist snap. The players also need to practice this pass off the dribble pick up. This is one of the more common uses for the pass. Have the players practice with an inside dribble side pass (this is when the ball is being dribble in the hand closest to the receiver) and also an outside dribble side pass (the ball is being dribbled in the hand furthest from the receiver). Always make sure they work on using both the left and the right hand. The dominate hand, more likely than not, will control the pass. Again, you may need to deload the skill and have the players practice on their own at a wall. Don’t be in too big of a hurry. You cannot skips stages of skill development.

Error detection correction The placement of the hands will impact the trajectory of the pass. When the dominate hand is the top hand on the ball, often the players will not get the hand far enough under the ball to have lift. This causes the pass to go down because of the dominate hand placement. When the dominate hand is on the bottom the pass will often go high because the dominate hand is too far under the ball. These passes require wrist flexibility and strength.

Chalk Talk

Mike MacKay

Manager of Coach Education and Development

This pass will feel awkward to many players. The most common solution will be to make all one handed passes with the dominate hand. This can work in some situations but there is a need to be able to use two hands for control. Especially for players with smaller hands. The other solution players will use is to sling the ball with both arms. This will look like a discus being thrown since the player is generating power by turning the trunk and using extended arms. It is sometimes called a rugby pass. There is a place for this pass when the ball does not have to arrive as quickly. We want players to learn both passes. Acquisition Moving the skill into a game like situation, on air, helps the players acquire the necessary timing and coordination. Here the players are practicing using the side pass off dribble pickups as they advance down the floor. Notice that the inside player dribbles slightly to the middle when he/ she approaches the foul line. This moves the imaginary defender(s) and creates the angle for the side pass.

Consolidation To take the skill to consolidation we add guided defence. Remember you as the coach must decide how quickly you move through the various stages of skill development. The players progress guides you progress, not your coaching agenda.

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Here the two offensive players start at half and attack the basket in a transition situation. The ball handler moves the defender by sliding to the slide, ever so slightly. If there was a second defender guarding the basket the slide dribble will influence the defender to believe that the pass is going to the right. This makes the open space on the left and creates the angle for the pass. At first the defender acts as a guide. As the skill improves the defence increases the intensity.

Refinement In the refinement stage of skill development the players need to use the skill in competitive situation without thinking about it. Playing small sided games is the best way 2 on 2 , 3 on 3 , 4 on 4. Use a games approach where players get rewarded for making use of the side pass off penetration. You may have to guide the defence to help off the ball side offensive player. This creates the opening to use the pass. Creative variation The final stage of skill development comes about when the players make the skill his/ her own. This players starts to add their own idiosyncrasies to the skill. This will only come about through deliberate practice and the self-confidence to use the skill in competitive situations. The coach plays a big part in the process. If the first time the player attempts to be creative the coach benches the players, the process is shut down.


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