And the Road to London begins this month ... for the Senior Women's National Team that is.
With the Senior Men not having qualified for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament this summer, again, the sole focus of the national hardwood organization will be on the women. They begin their quest for a spot in the 2012 Olympic Games this month and will be going hard from then until the qualifying tournament at the end of June.
This summer's version of the Senior Women's National Team should be an interesting one to say the least. The women have seemed to place higher then the men consistently on the world stage (though not an incredible amount higher but higher nonetheless) and they will have plenty of talented players to draw from. I'm curious to see who the Canada Basketball invites to the camp that starts this week in Abbottsford, BC. There will be vets like Teresa Gabrielle and the Tatham sisters available, among others of course, but my interest will be who of the young players will be invited and show.
There is a large pool of talent from both the NCAA and CIS ranks that can positively impact the team, I think, who fill needs but outside of a lack of international basketball experience for some of them their general availability is the first and biggest stumbling block. I haven't seen the invite rosters myself but I'm hoping that players like Katherine and Michelle Plouffe, Taryn Wicijowski, Natalie Achonwa and Karly Roser can be in uniform but with NCAA committed athletes, the summers become increasingly difficult to have off.
Regardless, this should be a very solid women's team that is sent over. With several exhibition games to be played before the qualifying tournament in Turkey, they should be ready. I'll post more on the team as the May and June go along.