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U15 and U17 National Championships jumpstart in Canada
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U15 and U17 National Championships jumpstart in Canada

FREDERICTON, VICTORIA (Canada) — With 10 teams in the U15 and U17 for both sexes, and more than 400 players, Canada Basketball set in motion this week the corresponding national camps for these young ages.

These are the best players of each Canadian province, who were chosen through a process of identifying regional talent and then trying out the best 30 to build the team that could be labeled an All-Star Team of each province.

All men's games will take place at the Richard J. Curie Centre of the University of New Brunswick, in Fredericton. Meanwhile, the women will come together in the McKinnon Gym at the University of Victoria. Tournaments will begin on Monday, August 5 and last through Sunday, August 10.

Three groups will divide the 10 active teams in each province-representative category. The regions represented are Alberta, Saskatchewan, Québec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island.

Tournaments will follow the FIBA guidelines, a fact that Ron Yeung, General Domestic Development Manager for Canada Basketball highlighted as an attempt of the organization to initiate participants in this format before international commitments.

“When we do these events, one of the main criteria we try to ensure is that the entire tournament follows the FIBA protocol guidelines,” said Yeung. “So, what we're really trying to ensure is that the experience of the National Championship is very similar to what an athlete if he or she progresses in the future and possibly gets to the National Team, can understand the protocol and be equipped with that.”

Likewise, Yeung highlighted the requirements that Canada Basketball sets for active coaches in the competition.

“For all coaches that are training in the National Championship, the Federation requires a certain certification level through our National Coaching Certification Program. This is our way of ensuring that coaches are duly trained and certified with our own system and go through an adequate check,” Yeung assured.

The tournament will also measure the progress of the possible candidates for a youth national team in the near future.

“We use this tournament as a platform to identify athletes in both our high-performance programs, men and women, and monitor where they are in terms of performance and progression.”