Basketball Manitoba is pleased to share the news that Kirby Schepp of Winnipeg has been appointed to the coaching staff of the newly created Cadet National Team.   FIBA's introduction of a new level of global competition, Canada Basketball is pleased to announce the appointment of the Cadet National Team (U17) coaching staff.  Kirby will join Roy Rana of Toronto, head coach of Ontario’s Centre for Performance and architect of the successful high school program at Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, heads the men’s team.


Christine Stapleton of Hamilton, head coach of
the National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) women’s program, will
lead the women’s cadet(te) national team.  Joining Stapleton will be
assistant coach Jacqueline Lavallee of Saskatoon.

Although cadet(te)-aged competition has existed in many FIBA countries for decades, this year marks the first America’s zone championships leading to at the first-ever world championship in 2010. The FIBA Americas U16 World Championship Qualification Tournament for Men takes place June 17-21 in Mendoza, Argentina, while the women’s tournament tips off June 16-20 in Mexico City, Mexico.  In each competition, eight countries will compete, with the top three nations advancing to the first ever FIBA U17 World Championship next year. 

“We see this as a tremendous development opportunity for our young talent in this country, both in terms of the athletes who will be selected but even more so in the focus and attention competing toward an international event will bring to our development system,” said Wayne Parrish, Executive Director and CEO of Canada Basketball. “In partnership with our provincial basketball associations, we have been working to build a strong, integrated system and this will help reinforce and hopefully extend that.”

Beginning in 2001, Canada Basketball has partnered with its provincial affiliates on the Centres for Performance program, which brings top young athletes together to train under top development coaches at regular intervals through the winter. Each of the six CPs – based in B.C., Alberta, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada – will place at least one athlete on the cadet(te) national teams.  As well, all four coaches have been active in the CP program. 

Stapleton, who provided national leadership to the CP girls’ program from 2002-05 brings a wealth of national team experience to the cadet(te) national team post, having coached at four levels (Youth, Junior, Young and Development) since 1998.  She led Canada’s Development Women’s team to a winning record (5-3) at the 2001 World University Games.  In 2004, she guided Canada to a bronze medal which qualified the team for the 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship for the second time in the program’s history.  In 2006 she led Canada to a silver medal at the U18 FIBA Americas Championships.  She also served as head coach in the CIS, with the University of Regina (1993-1994 to 2001-2002), winning the CIAU National Championship in 2001.

“This is a positive first experience for our young athletes to get a taste of international (FIBA) competition early along their elite development pathway, stated Stapleton.  “Having worked with the development system through CP’s and NEDA program, I believe that our country has the talent and the drive to qualify for the 2010 FIBA Cadette World Championship.”

Stapleton played an integral role in developing and executing Canada Basketball’s NEDA program, as part of Canada Basketball’s elite development pathway.  She serves as the women’s head coach, and has held that position since the program’s inception in 2006. 

Rana has cadet-aged experience at both domestic and international level.  He currently serves as the head coach for Ontario Basketball’s basketball development and high performance program, in addition to the CP program - Central East Ontario.  On the national level, Rana led team Ontario (u17) to gold medals at the national championships in 2004 and the Canada Summer Games in 2005.  He has also had a taste of international competition, working as an assistant coach with Canada’s Junior Men’s National Team in 2006.  But perhaps his greatest accomplishment is at the grassroots level, as the head coach for Eastern Commerce, where Rana has amassed a 384-78 record in 14 seasons.

“It is a great honour to be leading this first Cadet group in to the FIBA Americas qualifier. I look forward to contributing in the development of the future of our national team program, said Rana.  “Our goals for this group are many, but most importantly we want to represent Canada with great passion and qualify for the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship.”

Jacqueline Lavallee joins the Cadette women’s program after serving as an assistant coach with the 2008 Development Women’s National Team. Jacquie is the Saskatchewan CP Girl’s Head Coach, a former University of Saskatchewan Huskie and former national team athlete.  She has also served as an assistant coach at the University of Saskatchewan since 2002.

Schepp is currently serving as a the CP Boys’ Head Coach for the Prairies- Manitoba and was recently recommended to be the new Head Coach for University of Manitoba Men’s basketball program to begin in fall 2009.

The coaches will be working closely with its provincial/territorial partners, the CP coaches across the country, Sefu Bernard, CP National Head Coach, Mike MacKay, CB Manager-Coaching Development, and members of CB’s recently-appointed Council of Excellence, to select the athletes who will compete for Team Canada in Argentina and Mexico later this spring.

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