The U19 Women’s National Team defeated Japan 67-60 in the bronze medal game at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Italy. With this win, Canada secures the team’s highest finish at a FIBA U19 World Cup tournament.
Canada’s previous highest finish at this level was fourth place at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women (Bangkok, Thailand).
Laeticia Amihere (Mississauga, ON) led Canada with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Hailey Brown (Hamilton, ON) added 12 points and five rebounds. Hanna Hall (Hamilton, ON) also had 10 points and three rebounds in Canada’s historic win.
Canada established a 14-10 lead in the first quarter after Hall hit a buzzer-beating three pointer. Canada would maintain a 33-27 lead at the half with Alyssa Jerome (Toronto, ON) also hitting a three point buzzer-beater. Leading Japan 33-27 into the second half, Kendra Van Leeuwen (Brantford, ON) would continue trend, hitting a three-point buzzer beater of her own to give Canada a 50-45 lead in the third. Despite a back-and-forth final quarter, Canada would hold on for a 67-60 victory.
This is Canada’s first podium finish at an international FIBA event since 2012 when the team earned bronze at the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women (Amsterdam, Netherlands).