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FIBA - Canada Basketball awarded 2015 FIBA Americas Championship for Women

SAN JUAN (FIBA Americas Championship for Women) - Canada Basketball has been awarded the hosting duties of the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship for Women, which will determine what teams from the zone qualify directly to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"This opportunity wouldn't be possible without the incredible support of Sport Canada, the Province of Alberta, the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Tourism and Basketball Alberta," said Canada Basketball Executive Director Michele O'Keefe.

"We have formed a formidable team and we're anxious to welcome the Americas to Edmonton in August 2015.

"Our Canadian women's national basketball team now has the opportunity to compete for an Olympic berth with a home-court advantage," continued O’Keefe.

"Hosting is a strategic priority for Canada Basketball and this Championship is a great step forward."

The Championship will take place from 9-16 August 2015, with 10 teams from the Americas zone competing in the eight-day tournament.

All 24 games will be played at the Saville Community Sports Centre (SCSC) on the University of Alberta's South Campus in Edmonton.

"We are absolutely ecstatic about Canada being awarded the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship for Women next August," said Canada women's head coach Lisa Thomaidis.

"The opportunity to play for a berth to the Olympics on our home soil is something that we've been dreaming about for years.

"I'm so happy for our veteran athletes, who will get to compete for this coveted prize in front of our home crowd. A huge thanks to everyone at Canada Basketball and all of our incredible partners in Edmonton and Alberta, who were involved in securing this event for Canada."

Paul Sir, Executive Director of Basketball Alberta, expressed his excitement at the announcement.

He said: "It is wonderful to have the opportunity to host such a prestigious event at the Saville Community Sports Centre. The 2015 FIBA Americas Championship for Women is another exciting step forward in our efforts to make Edmonton and Alberta the home of basketball in Canada. We will strive to provide a tournament experience second to none as the teams compete to qualify for a spot in the 2016 Olympics."

The Honourable Bal Gosal, Canada's Minister of State (Sport), said: "Congratulations to Canada Basketball for having been awarded the opportunity to host this very prestigious tournament in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

"The Government of Canada is proud to be a key supporter of this event, as hosting international sport events such as the FIBA Americas Championship for Women provides an opportunity for our athletes to achieve their podium goals in front of enthusiastic Canadian crowds and gives a great boost to the local economy. We look forward to cheering on our women's national basketball team as they look to qualify for the Rio Olympics against the best competition from across the Americas."

FIBA Americas President Usie Richards paid tribute to Canada Basketball.

"FIBA Americas is extremely proud to announce Canada Basketball and the City of Edmonton as hosts of our women's continental championship. It is only fitting to have the event in Canada in celebration of the great work and positive results the Canadian senior women's national team has achieved globally for the country and our continent in recent years," he said.

"For this we have to thank Canada Basketball for always believing in women's basketball and its development. We are confident that it will be a true success and a historic event for our game in the Americas."

It will be the second time Canada hosts the FIBA Americas Championship for Women, having previously staged it in Hamilton, Ontario in 1995.