Hamilton athletes invited to Canada women’s basketball rating camp

Six players from the Golden Horseshoe are included in the 27 athletes selected for Canada Basketball’s women’s national U17 and U18 age-group assessment camp, March 23-30. Three of those chosen are from Hamilton.

Christina Buttenham (Photo: Gerry Graham)

Christina Buttenham (Photo: Gerry Graham)

Christina Buttenham, Hailey Brown, and Halie Bovell, all from Hamilton, will be joined by Bridget Atkison, of Welland, Jaelyne Kirkpatrick, of Oakville, and Nancy Kessler, of St. Catharine’s.

The camp will be held at the Saville Centre in Edmonton for athletes selected through the national identification process.

This camp, combined with previous and upcoming talent identification efforts, will contribute to the assessment of the overall athlete pool and will help determine the athletes who will be invited back for each of the U17 and U18 women’s summer national team program tryouts.

Both U17 and U18 national teams will be competing in FIBA sanctioned championship tournaments this coming summer. The U17 team will be competing in its third consecutive FIBA U17 World Championship for Women in Slovakia from June 28-July 6. The team qualified after finishing second at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women in Cancun, Mexico this past summer. The tournament includes 16 teams from each of the five zones with players born in 1997 or later.

The U18 squad will participate in the U18 FIBA Americas Championship for Women, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado from Aug. 6-10. The tournament includes teams from eight countries in the Americas zone with players born in 1996 or later.

The coaches leading this combined age-group camp will consist of both the 2014 U17 and U18 national team coaches.

Carly Clarke (Halifax) will once again be tasked with fulfilling the role of the U17 team head coach. Joining Clarke for the fourth consecutive season will be assistant coach Andre Desjardins (Ottawa) from École secondaire publique Louis-Riel and Jodi Gram (Markham, ON) from Bill Crothers Secondary School, who also returns to the team as an assistant coach and performance analyst.

Rounding out the U17 staff will be Carleton University’s head coach Taffe Charles (Ottawa) who will be making his second international coaching appearance. They will be joined by Performance Analyst Megan Wiggins (Regina).

Rich Chambers (Port Moody, BC) returns once again at the helm of the U18 team. He will be joined by assistants Scott Edwards (Edmonton) and Scott Reeves (Kamloops, BC). Edwards, who serves as the head coach of the University of Alberta, will be taking part in his fourth stint with the program. Reeves currently serves as head coach of Thompson Rivers University, and will be making his second appearance as a coach with the women’s national team program.