Local basketball players gear up for greatness

Chatham-born Power Forward Miranda Ayim (Photo courtesy of Miranda Ayim via FIBA)

Three basketball players from London, Chatham-Kent and Windsor are headed to Belgium to play for their chance to represent Canada at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team will compete at the Versluys Dôme in Ostend, Belgium in one of four FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments from February 6-9.

Chatham’s Bridget Carleton, London’s Miranda Ayim and Windsor’s Miah-Marie Langlois are on the National Team roster.

“All of our players have worked really hard to earn this opportunity,” said Lisa Thomaidis, the head coach of Senior Women’s National Team in a news release. “We’re excited to get started in a couple days and face a tough opponent in Belgium on their home soil so we’ll be ready for the crowd on hand.”

The Canadian team will take on Belgium on February 6, before facing Sweden on February 8 and Japan on February 9. The two highest-placed teams will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament. As the host of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Japan has already qualified for the tournament regardless of how they place in the tournament.

Another 12 nations will compete in the three qualifying tournaments in the following three host cities: Australia, Brazil, France and Puerto in Bourges, France; China, Great Britain, South Korea and Spain in Belgrade, Serbia (formerly Foshan, China); Mozambique, Nigeria, Serbia and USA in Belgrade, Serbia.

The Canadian team has participated in the past two Olympic Games in London and Rio.