Former Kalamalka Lakers standout Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (with ball) is one of 20 players named to the Canadian women’s Olympic basketball team’s virtual training camp in preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Games. (File photo)

Former Kalamalka Lakers standout Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (with ball) is one of 20 players named to the Canadian women’s Olympic basketball team’s virtual training camp in preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Games. (File photo)

Coldstream basketball star invited to Canadian women’s Olympic camp

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe helped Canada place 7th at 2016 Rio Olympics

Canada Basketball announced the 20 athletes invited to attend a Senior Women’s National Team virtual training camp this week.

Former Kalamalka Secondary Lakers standout Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe is on the list released Feb. 1.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the team was last together just over a year ago in Ostend, Belgium, where they swept their group at the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgium with a 3-0 record to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. ‍Canada has successfully qualified for three consecutive Olympic Games, dating back to London 2012.

“There have been tremendous individual and collective efforts made by both our athletes and staff, as they continue to diligently work together throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Women’s High Performance director Denise Dignard.

Raincock-Ekunwe was part of the Canadian team that finished seventh at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was on the squad that helped Canada qualify for the 2021 Games in Tokyo, originally scheduled for 2020 but cancelled due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 hasn’t prevented athletes from connecting virtually with coaches and staff to continue their development and training over the course of the past 12 months. This camp will be yet another important opportunity for the team to connect, build chemistry and continue preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“I’m so excited to get together with our players and staff this week,” said Canadian head coach Lisa Thomaidis. “We have an incredible group of people on this team who have displayed genuine dedication and commitment to our teams’ growth and improvement during this time.

“We’ve had to take a different approach to our Olympic preparation process than we had originally anticipated but I know our hard work is going to pay off.”

Raincock-Ekunwe, who helped the Lakers win the B.C. High School Girls AA basketball title in 2009, is taking a second year off from the WNBA’s New York Liberty to focus on helping Canada at the Olympics. She is currently playing professionally in Europe.

The Tokyo 2020 Women’s Basketball Tournament is scheduled for July 26-Aug. 8, 2021. Canada is one of 12 qualified teams that will be divided into three groups of four teams each. The Group Phase will be played in a round-robin format, with each team playing the other teams in the group once. The teams placed first and second in each group and the two best third-placed teams in the Group Phase qualify for the Final Phase.

The draw for the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Basketball Tournament is set for Tuesday, Feb. 2 in Mies, Switzerland.

Prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Canada will also participate in the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2021 from June 11-19, 2021. This event is one of four Women’s Continental Cups, which will qualify 16 teams for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Qualifying Tournaments from Feb. 6-14, 2022. The top three teams from each Qualifying Tournament will advance to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney, Australia.

Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team remains ranked fourth in the FIBA World Ranking Women, presented by Nike.

READ MORE: Coldstream grad paces Canada to Olympic qualifier win

READ MORE: Nayo relishes Canada role



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

basketballOlympics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Lake Country saw its number of overdose calls double in 2020 over the previous year. (Black Press file photo)
Overdose calls doubled in Lake Country in 2020: report

The district’s protective services annual report shows there were 47 overdose calls last year

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Vernon husband and wife Jan (top) and Ken Waldon (with B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin), were among 44 provincial recipients of the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for volunteerism. The awards were presented at a special ceremony earlier in September in Victoria. (Government House Victoria photos)
Fintry heritage site champion loses battle with illness

Ken Waldon was the leading proponent behind the creation of Friends of the Fintry Provincial Park Society

An application to construct housing units for temporary farm workers was supported by District of Lake Country council Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The applicant, Gurjinder Sandher, must now get approval from the Agricultural Land Commission. (Google Maps)
Lake Country supports farmer’s bid to build housing for temporary workers

The application to construct 40 permanent units on farmland is now pending ALC approval

Transition house program manager Melrose Tomlinson, from left, Archway Society co-executive director Sherry Demetrick, Men’s Shed club members John Halper, David Friesen, Harry Knopf and Sam Lachman collaborated on building a gazebo structure for the women rising in the home to use during their time outdoors. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star file)
Vernon men’s mental health club gains independence

Before becoming its own society, Men’s Shed was under the wings of the CMHA

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

Most Read