One of the more outstanding Canadian basketball stories of the year continued to play out in Edmonton on the weekend.
You probably missed it, and it’s too bad if you did, but the suddenly globally dominant team of Katherine and Michelle Plouffe, Paige Crozon and Catherine Traer won their fourth straight FIBA World Series 3 x 3 tournament, beating the United States in the final of the weekend affair.
I don’t care what sport you’re playing or where you’re playing it, if you win four consecutive tournaments all over the world against different levels of competition each time, you’re doing something extraordinary.
The women have truly become a wonderful story and a great study in the love of the sport and the desire to keep pushing yourself to great heights.
They are self-funded – think about that for a second – and are relatively new to the sport – all were outstanding indoor basketball players, the Plouffe sisters were long time members of the national women’s team and they are now one of the best three-on-three teams in the world.
Whether they can turn this one magical season into a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – three-on-three basketball makes its Games debut next summer – remains to be seen and will depend greatly on FIBA’s utterly confusing and complex qualification process that makes rocket science seem simple.
Suffice it to say no one knows for sure whether they’ll be in or out but that cannot take away from what’s been a wonderful debut season for the women this year.
I have to admit, I wasn’t really big on three-on-three basketball when FIBA started really pushing it a few years ago.
I thought it was a bit of a bastardization of the traditional way the sport was play, gimmicky or something like that.
Sort of like beach volleyball was to the indoor version of that sport, although basketball didn’t strike me as being originally sold or promoted quite like beach volleyball was.
I was wrong.
On both counts.
Beach volleyball – and I’ve been familiar with it since it made its Olympic debut in Atlanta and that was all about skimpy uniforms and sun and music and, well, the beach – has morphed into this exceptional game played by a tremendous athletes that simply different than its traditional cousin. Not better, not worse, just different with different skills necessary and should be treated that way.
It’s the same, I’ve come to know, with three-on-three basketball.
It promotes a more varied skillset for kids than the indoor game does, it allows more kids to play more significant roles in games and what it’s done is become a legitimate alternative around the world to the game my old buddy Jimmy invented all those years ago.
It’s not the basketball I’m used to and I still far much prefer the indoor game and that will never change, I don’t imagine, but there’s no reason to appreciate it for the alternative that it’s become.
And no reason not to consider this women’s team one of the very best to represent Canada to the world in any sport you can think of.
I only read a little bit about the Emmys this morning and overnight and didn’t see a second of the show Sunday.
That seems to be quite all right since I hadn’t heard of about 80 per cent of the nominated shows and I guess I gotta figure out what this Netflix thing is sooner rather than later.
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Is this a classic Half Empty, Half Full thing or not?
The Blue Jays are celebrating the fact they have the first team in major league history to have six rookies with 10 or more home runs in a season and that’d be wonderful if (a) there have never, ever been more home runs hit in a major league season so it’s all relative and (b) the Blue Jays also stuck out more as a team than any team in the franchise’s history.
Homers? Half full?
Strikeouts? Half empty?
All depends on your attitude, I guess. And whether you work for the team or not.
Got less than a week until the grind begins again with media day here Saturday and the first practice in Quebec City on Sunday.
We had this bit of a catch-up over the weekend as a refresher on who’ll all be in camp when it starts and it was good because I’d forgotten one or two myself.
But as we get ready to get going and the days get are about to get busier, we’ll stay with the every-other-day schedule here this week before considering going back to at least five a week and a sixth with the mailbag for at least the duration of training camp.
That means if you’ve got any burning questions for next Sunday’s mail, if you could send them early, it’d be greatly appreciated.
Just click on email@example.com and do what you do.