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Thomaidis Rolls Up Sleeves To Begin Impact On Women’s Program



During the March 29- April 1 weekend, the Canadian Women’s National Age Group Assessment Camp was held in Toronto, ON’s Humber College.

The Camp was a followup to the December Camp where invitees had come in to be assessed and were given targeted training points. Those training points, situational plays, and drills were reviewed at this Camp, and measured against bench marks that were established at that previous Camp.

Besides the new faces attendance for this camp, something else also new.  It was the presence of newly appointed Senior Women’s National Team (SWNT) Head Coach, Lisa Thomaidis.

Back on March 20, Canada Basketball announced that Thomaidis would take over at the helm of the SWNT after 11 seasons as an Assistant Coach to previous long standing SWNT Head Coach, Allison McNeill who announced her retirement late last year.

Thomaidis, who is also a two-time CIS Coach of the year and is currently the Head Coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, had her first opportunity to be in the gym to take in the talent level while in charge.

“We have a tremendous amount of talent on the rise right now. We have some good athleticism and some good overall size. On the Junior side we have some very solid players and some good height which is good to see. The future certainly looks bright. The more that we’ve been able to have touches with the Juniors and Cadettes earlier on in their development, I better off their going to be in terms of being able to make the step to the Senior level.”

As head of the SWNT, one of the roles that she will assume is the grooming of the program and of the players that will eventually graduate to her program. Of course, with the length of McNeill’s tenure, a lot of her vision would be evident throughout the program. Thomaidis respects the programs recent successes, and appears excited to ensure momentum continues to gather steam.

“With our National team over the past 5-7 years, and the tremendous success that we’ve had, we’ve had to play a certain way dependent on our personnel. I think that we’re seeing in some of our younger kids some different things that they’re bringing to the table. And hopefully when they’re ready to step on to that Senior National Team stage, that we will be able to play a little bit differently. Whether that means a little bit faster paced game a little bit more uptempo still remains to be seen. It’s huge gigantic step between Junior team and Senior team.”

“We were the youngest team at the Olympics. So, in order to be able to gain from that experience, and have that cohesion without group, we need these players continuing to play for Canada and well beyond their collegiate years.”

With the of Canada Basketball on the rise, it would appear as though the time is ripe for Canada Basketball’s Women to make great strides in their results. And to accomplish their goals, emphasis for Thomaidis is to make make sure everyone coming up through the ranks understands the vision. So she plans on working closely with the Cadette and Junior Coaches, Carly Clarke and Rich Chambers respectively, for the aforementioned cohesion and continuity that she will inherit by the time these feeder programs reach the level of playing the World’s best regardless of age.

“Just last week we had a technical summit. We were able to get all of the Coaches from all of the different teams on the same page and really decide what were our areas of emphasis, what we want to push in the game and see in these players at each age group. So, again, they’ll be well prepared for when they are older and able to make that jump to the Senior Team. They’ll have consistent messaging. Consistent skill development.”

“The priority is getting these players to the Senior National Team level. In terms of athlete selection, that’s always our goal.”


Click here for the complete list of camp invitees.