Aaliyah Edwards named to Team Canada’s Olympic basketball roster

Kingston’s Aaliyah Edwards played on Team Canada at the inaugural GLOBL JAM event in Toronto in 2022. Now she’s heading to France for the Paris Olympics. Photo via Canada Basketball.

Kingston’s Aaliyah Edwards will be shooting hoops for Team Canada at the Paris Olympics. Edwards is one of 12 athletes on Canada’s women’s basketball roster who will take to the courts at the end of July.

Edwards was in the news earlier this year as the sixth overall draft pick in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She now plays for the Washington Mystics. In 2022, Edwards took home the GLOBL JAM championship’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

The GLOBL JAM championship win marked Edwards’ first international gold medal as a member of Team Canada; in 2017, the then-15-year-old took home silver at the FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship, before experiencing a similar result at the 2019 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup in Puerto Rico. In 2021 Edwards was named to the conference’s All-Freshmen Team while also taking home the Sixth Woman of the Year award. 

This year, she joins veteran player Natalie Achonwa as the team pursues its first medal at the Olympic Games this summer. Achonwa has played nine seasons in the WNBA with the Indiana Fever and Minnesota Lynx and is set to become Canada’s first four-time Olympian in women’s basketball, according to the COC.

Edwards will reportedly head to Paris later in July during the WNBA’s Olympic break, alongside three other current WNBA players, Laeticia Amihere of the Atlanta Dream, Bridget Carleton of the Minnesota Lynx, and Kia Nurse of the Los Angeles Sparks.

This will be the second Olympic Games for Amihere, Carleton, and Edwards, and the third for Nurse, who represented Canada at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

This is Team Canada’s eighth appearance in the Olympic women’s basketball tournament since it debuted in Montreal in 1976. According to the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) website, the Canadian women successfully qualified for their fourth consecutive Olympic Games by finishing third in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Sopron, Hungary this past February.

According to the COC, Canada’s best Olympic result in women’s basketball was a fourth-place finish in Los Angeles in 1984. Currently fifth in the FIBA world rankings, Canada finished fourth at the most recent FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2022, and secured a bronze medal at the 2023 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup.

COC shared the roster of women’s basketball athletes at Paris 2024:

Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ont.)
Kayla Alexander (Milton, Ont.)
Laeticia Amihere (Mississauga, Ont.)
Bridget Carleton (Chatham, Ont.)
Shay Colley (Brampton, Ont.)
Aaliyah Edwards (Kingston, Ont.)
Yvonne Ejim (Calgary, Alta.)
Nirra Fields (Montreal, Que.)
Sami Hill (Toronto, Ont.)
Kia Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.)
Cassandre Prosper (Montreal, Que.)
Syla Swords (Sudbury, Ont.)

The women’s basketball tournament will take place from July 27 to August 11 (Day 1 to 16). According to the COC, Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille will host the preliminary phase before the final phase shifts to Paris and Bercy Arena.

Canada’s first game of the tournament will be on Monday, Jul. 29, 2024, at 11:15 a.m. ET, against host France.

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