SFU alumna Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe named to Team Canada for Rio 2016
By Steve Frost
Former Simon Fraser University star Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe has been named to Canada's Olympic team in women's basketball that will compete in Rio 2016. Raincock-Ekunwe is a first-time Olympian.
Raincock-Ekunwe was Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year and All-America First Team in 2013 after averaging 16.8 points and 12.4 rebounds her senior season. Simon Fraser advanced to the NCAA West Region final that year.
She joins several Clan alumni who have earned berths on Olympic teams to date. Other Clan alumni headed to Rio are wrestlers Helen Maroulis (USA) and Danielle Lappage (Canada), and track and field 10,000-metre runner Natasha Wodak.
In addition, alumnus Dave Mckay, who has coached at multiple Olympic Games and World Championships, is once again part of the Wrestling Canada coaching staff. McKay's daughter, Alison, is a senior on the Clan women's volleyball team.
Alumna Carol Huynh, a two-time Olympic medallist in wrestling, is Team Canada Assistant Chef de Mission.
There is much anticipation following the Canadian women's basketball team after it won gold medals at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and FIBA Americas in Edmonton where the women locked up their Olympic berth last year.
Canada finished fifth at the World Championship in 2014, beating London 2012 silver medalist France along the way. Such results have built a belief that Canada can legitimately compete for a medal on the Olympic stage and Team Canada fans should follow this team closely.
At the London Olympics, Canada finished fourth in its Olympic group before losing to the United States in the quarterfinals. That Olympic team was led by former Clan head coach Allison McNeill and star guard Theresa Gabriele.