Central Okanagan basketball players invited to national camp
Five young players from the Central Okanagan will be heading to Edmonton at the end of spring break for some exposure with Canada Basketball's national development program.
Monika Curtis, Courtney Donaldson, Kiara Gaspari, Taya Hanson and Nicole Hart have been invited to the Western Canadian Assessment Camp for athletes born between 1998 and 2000.
All five have participated in Kelowna Minor Basketball, the UBCO Junior Heat program and various basketball academies. These girls also represent five different schools from within the Central Okanagan—Dr. Knox, Mt. Boucherie, Immaculata, OKM and KLO.
The camp will include athletes from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and other parts of British Columbia. A similar camp was held in Trois Rivières, Quebec for the eastern provinces earlier this month.
Last year, all five girls played on regional teams and were then selected to play at the provincial level with Basketball BC. Curtis, Donaldson, Gaspari and Hanson all played on the U14 Provincial Team, travelling into Washington and around B.C. for tournaments, while Hart played on the U15 Blue provincial team, which played at the U15 National Championships in Newfoundland. It was during this summer season that these girls were identified by Basketball BC and then Canada Basketball to participate in the upcoming age group assessment camp.
The purpose of the camp will be to assess these athletes for further development at the national level for future U17 and U19 teams. The next U16-U17 cycle includes the FIBA America U16 Championship in 2015, while the next U18-U19 cycle includes the FIBA America U18 Championship in 2016.
Schools, recreational, club teams and academies have played an important role in the development of the athletes and which speaks to the level of support that basketball is now being given in the Okanagan.