Junior Ute Michelle Plouffe and former Utes Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn will represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
July 2, 2012
ANKARA, Turkey - University of Utah junior Michelle Plouffe and former Utes Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn are headed to London for the 2012 Olympic Games with the Canadian Senior Women's National Basketball Team. Canada won back-to-back games over the weekend to earn the final qualifying berth at the FIBA World Olympic Tournament.
"We are really pleased for Michelle, Kim and Shona," said Utah head women's basketball coach Anthony Levrets. "The chance to represent their country in the sport they love, and have worked at their whole lives, must be an amazing feeling. We are thrilled for them and we know they will also do a great job of representing the University of Utah and our women's basketball program on the biggest stage in the world."
Needing to win twice to secure the final qualifying spot, Canada first defeated Argentina on Saturday, 58-41. Thorburn started the game and tied for team highs of four assists and six rebounds, while also blocking a shot, in 24 minutes of action. Smith played 21 minutes off the bench, scoring four points and equaling Thorburn's six boards while recording one steal and one assist. Plouffe started the game but was held scoreless in the contest.
With only Japan standing in the way of qualification on Sunday, Canada stepped up and outscored Japan 21-11 in the first quarter, en route to a 71-63 victory. Smith started the game and scored eight points while pulling down three rebounds, dishing out three assists and making two steals. Thorburn came off the bench to contribute six points, three rebounds and one assist. Plouffe did not play.
The 2012 Olympic Games in London will mark Canada's first trip to the Olympics since the 2000 games in Sydney. The women's basketball event will be played from July 28 - Aug. 11. Canada has been placed in Group B with Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, France and Russia.