University Sports

Canada Basketball hands women's reins to Thomaidis

The Canadian Press
3/20/2013 10:26:19 AM
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TORONTO -- Saskatchewan Huskies coach Lisa Thomaidis is taking the reins of Canada's senior women's basketball team.

Thomaidis is a two-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport coach of the year and has been an assistant with the women's team for 11 years, working under previous head coaches Bev Smith and Allison McNeill.

She succeeds McNeill, who retired in December after Canada's inspiring run at the London Olympics.

"What the team has accomplished in the past quadrennial is nothing less than tremendous, and I am looking forward to seeing what new heights we can reach," Thomaidis said in a statement. "At the London Olympics, the team showed the world that we are a basketball nation to be reckoned with."

Thomaidis is a four-time Canada West coach of the year with the Huskies, who have consistently been in the top-10 in CIS under her direction.

Michele O'Keefe, Canada Basketball's executive director, said the post received significant interest.

"We cast our net worldwide and concluded that the best candidate to lead our team is homegrown," O'Keefe said. "The sport in Canada has progressed tremendously in the past decade and the energy surrounding the women's program is palpable. Lisa is a world-class coach with over a decade of international experience."

As a player, Thomaidis earned three OUA all-star selections with the McMaster Marauders. She also played overseas in the Greek first division.

McNeill capped her 11th year as head coach with a quarter-final appearance in London, where Canada was eliminated by eventual gold medallist United States.

The next test for the women's team is this fall's FIBA Americas Championship, the qualifying event for the 2014 world championships.

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