Men’s basketball takes silver medal in China

IT’S BEEN A tough 28 years since Canada last won gold in men’s basketball at FISU, and 14 since they donned a silver medal—but that didn’t stop the latest crop of basketball stars from raising the bar this year.

Going into the competition, Team Canada demonstrated their ability to be taken seriously by leaving their mark in the form of a silver medal. Though falling short 68-55 in the finals against Serbia, the defending champs, the Canadian team was an undeniably competitive contender at this year’s tournament—just ask third-year guard Warren Ward, a heavy hitter on both the Gee-Gees and Canada’s men’s basketball teams.

Explaining what he felt made the Canadians a serious obstacle for any other team looking to strike gold during the tournament, Ward said, “We have a lot of guys that really work hard. The dedication, hard work, and a lot of guys who won a lot of games.”

Receiving the opportunity to represent your country is an honour for any athlete, and Ward certainly didn’t disappoint with his impressive scoring on the court. When asked what it meant to represent Canada at FISU, Ward simply said, “Everything. I wanted to do this since my first year.”

Of all the shots taken, plays executed, and number of personal victories Ward racked up throughout the intense level of international competition, nothing left an impression on him like a good crowd.

“The other Canadian teams that came to support us and heckled during Lithuania [semifinal] and the finals … That was probably the best part,” recalled Ward. “The fan attendance was unbelievable.”

Looking forward to using his new ly acquired skills on the court, Ward explained how this experience will affect the way he plays this season with the Gees.

“I’ll probably play a little more physical now, for sure. I tried to be more of a leader defensively, because that’s one thing I get criticized about … So I’ve taken on that challenge and have been talking a lot more in practice, and it’s been paying off.”

Ward will now begin to prepare himself for the upcoming Jack Donohue Tournament on Oct. 28–29.

—Katarina Lukich