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Team Ontario U17s, Coach Gram Ready For Summer



bridget atkinsonWith a busy summer on the horizon for Ontario Basketball,
they have announced their senior Provincial Team, the U17s.

“We are a goal-oriented team, both as individuals,
and as a collective,”
said Team Ontario Head Coach,
Jodi Gram.

This year’s team is choosing to stay on top of the gains
they make on a daily basis as a way to measure their progress. And
with their ultimate goal of hitting peak performance in time for
the Canada Games in mid August, it will be the culmination of
several targeted areas that will be used as their measuring sticks.

“We want to address and improve the physical,
technical, tactical, mental and emotional components of basketball,
in our daily training environment, that will help us take home gold
at Canada Games for Ontario,”
said Gram.

Team Ontario U17s have brought in a number of players that have
graduated from last year’s U15 team. What they have assembled now
is a roster filled with talent, and are all quite capable in taking
their games to the next level. That forms the basis of the stage
that Gram hopes to set for her team as each member of the team will
be using this team as a very good vehicle for post secondary ball.

“Every girl on the team has stated they want to play basketball at
a university level; we want this experience to contribute to making
that happen. We have athletes that want to make National teams now
or in the future; we want to help instill an understanding of what
it takes to get there and what it means to train at a high
performance level. ” This year, there will only be one Team Ontario
U17 roster as opposed to the two teams that were in place last
year. Last year’s setup was in place to accommodate the many
players that were pulling double duty by salvaging a couple of
summer travel team tournaments and playing with the Canadian
Cadette team at the FIBA Cadette Women’s Championships.

Looking through the roster, one can’t help but notice this team has a
couple of top notch Point Guards in Kia Nurse and Shay Colley. But
in order to be successful this summer, Head Coach Jodi Gram is well
aware that she will need to have others stepup and shoulder the
load. That is why she built this team with several alternatives in
mind to making life difficult for their opponents.

“Deep”, says Gram when asked about her
team. “We have legitimate options at every position,
and good length and versatility that will create a lot of
mismatches for us at the basket and away from it.”

This year’s team will be looking
to surpass last summer’s travel circuit showing, and will be returning to the same tournaments that they did last year in
order to do so.
And, although attending the American tournaments
will be fun, the mid-August Canadian Games will be a significant
milestone opportunity for her team for her team.

“Definitely Canada Games,” said Gram
about which part of the summer her team would be looking forward to
the most. “Canada Games is the largest national
multi-sport event held in Canada. While USJN and Tournament of
Champions will be great competition, in great cities, with
excellent exposure opportunities, Canada Games only comes along
once every four years, and not much can compare with representing
your province at a National Championship of this

This year’s team will be attending the
following tournaments:
July 10-12 – Nike Summer Showcase – Chicago, IL
July 22-25 – Nike United States Jr. National Championships – Washington, DC
August 10-18 – Canada Games (Canadian Nationals) – Sherbrooke, QC

Team Ontario U17 Roster

Bridget Atkinson
Bridget Carleton
Cheyenne Creighton
Christina Buttenham
Hilary Hanaka
Julia Chandler
Kate Hill
Kia Nurse
Lauren Handy
Mikalah Mulrain
Michaela Nieuwenhuizen
Nada Radonjic
Nancy Kessler
Shay Colley
Veronika Lavergne