Three of Basketball Canada’s most decorated female athletes – Lizanne Murphy, Tamara Tatham and Shona Thorburn – announce their retirement from the women’s national team. Combined, the trio amassed three dozen years of service and nearly 450 games for Canada, including back-to-back Olympic appearances.
Murphy (Beaconsfield, QC) began her career with Team Canada in 2005, playing 145 games in total, including 138 games for the senior squad. A two-time Olympian (2012, 2016), she was part of two gold medal-winning teams (2015 Pan American Games, 2015 FIBA Americas), one silver medal-winning team (2013 FIBA Americas), and one bronze medal-winning team (2011 FIBA Americas).
“Playing for Canada has been my greatest pride and joy of my life. Our team is so special in that we are so competitive with one another, yet such a close knit group.” She said, “Some of my best friends in life, or “sistas” as I like to call them, are my current and former teammates. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned both on and off the court over the 12 years that I have competed for Canada. But mostly, I am so grateful that I’ve been able to live out my wildest dreams of going to not one, but two Olympics, traveled the globe, and competed at the highest level in my sport.”
Tatham (Brampton, ON) also began her time with Team Canada in 2005, playing 157 games for the senior team and 164 in total. The two-time Olympian (2012, 2016) was also part of two gold medal-winning teams (2015 Pan American Games, 2015 FIBA Americas), one silver medal-winning team (2013 FIBA Americas), and two bronze medal-winning teams (2011 FIBA Americas, 2009 FIBA Americas).
“The national team means honour and pride! Not everyone gets to rep their country on the highest stage at the highest level. When you focus on being outside of your comfort zone, only then are you in a position to change and maximize your potential. For me that’s a blessing and a dream come true.”
Thorburn (Hamilton, ON) represented Canada from 1998-2003 and again from 2011-2016, playing 132 games in total with 107 on the senior team. A 2012 and 2016 Olympian, she picked-up two gold medals (2015 Pan American Games, 2015 FIBA Americas), one silver (2013 FIBA Americas), and two bronze (2011 FIBA Americas, 2003 FIBA Americas).
“Playing for Canada has been the highlight of my basketball career; there are no words to describe the feeling of running out onto the court after Canada has been called. The friendships, memories, experiences are something that I will carry with me the rest of my life.”
Apart from the national team, all three have had successful professional careers overseas. Murphy recently finished her 10th year as a pro in France with Angers Union Feminine Basket 49. Tatham had a 10-year pro career, finishing up in Russia with Dynamo Novosibirsk Region. Thorburn has re-signed with Nantes, her current pro team in France, to play her 12th pro season in 2017-18.
“They’ve all played such a huge part in elevating our team to where it is today on the international stage. They’re great basketball players, but even more importantly, they are amazing women who have inspired the next generation of basketball players in this country. As a coach, I’m sad to see these players move on, but I know they’ve left the program in a great place for others to now take the reins and build upon.”
“Lizanne, Tamara and Shona have each made tremendous contributions to our program. Their dedication and perseverance to be one of the best in the world and to help Canada reach podium success is truly inspiring. I am eternally grateful to them for their leadership while with our program and know they will go on and continue to inspire others as they have while proudly wearing the maple leaf.”