Title: World Cup medal for women could be perfect bridge for Canada Basketball
Date: September 21, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Canada’s chances in the FIBA Women’s World Cup and why a place on the podium could mean so much to the entire program.
It would be tough to find bigger shoes to fill.
Michele O’Keefe is stepping down as the president and CEO of Canada Basketball at the end of this month and her highly successful tenure was punctuated on Thursday night at the 41st annual Canadian Sport Awards. There, O’Keefe was honored with the Leadership in Sport award in recognition of her work with the Canada Basketball program and as a trail-blazer for Canadian women in sport. While the award was another fitting accomplishment, the Canadian senior women’s basketball team has eyes on adding to her haul.
Saturday marks the beginning of the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Tenerife, a tournament, where Canada will be looking to top their fifth-place performance in 2014. That finish remains the high-water mark for the program since bronze in the 1986 event, and the momentum of the last few years suggests Canada could find its way back to the podium in Spain. The Canadian women are ranked fifth in the world by FIBA, have won consecutive FIBA Americas tournaments, and they boast the best and deepest roster in program history.
All of that is to say, incoming CEO and president Glen Grunwald is taking over at a fun time, but one in which expectations have never been higher.