Assistant coach Lisa Thomaidis and centre Krista Phillips — the pair representing Saskatchewan aboard the Canadian Olympic women’s national basketball team — fell 91-48 to a powerhouse United States team on Aug. 7, ending Canada’s Olympic run at the London Games.
The quarter-final contest saw the four-time defending gold medalists nearly double Canada on the scoreboard, forcing 26 turnovers from the Canucks.
Phillips collected two points and saw 22:37 of court time.
Despite missing the podium, Canada hit many milestones and exceeded expectations in their Olympic journey.
It began with an Olympic berth on Canada Day, their first in over a decade. Upsetting Great Britain and Brazil on route to a 2-3 record, as well as their first-ever Olympic quarter-final appearance.
With their Olympic run now over, Thomaidis, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball team’s head coach, will take a one-year leave from Canadian Interuniversity Athletics, while Phillips will return to her professional team, the Dandenong Rangers of the Australian Women’s National Basketball League.
Jill Humbert, recently appointed interim head coach of the U of S Huskies women’s basketball team, is a former protégé of Thomaidis and teammate of Phillips.
“It was fantastic to see someone you’re so inspired by sitting on the bench and actually coaching at that level. It was very neat to watch Lisa coach.”
Humbert also had the following to say about Phillips, her former teammate.
“She was my teammate in high school and I’ve known her since grade three. The Olympics have been a dream of Krista’s since she was in high school so to see her reach them is fantastic. Seeing her play against U.S.A. and all these WNBA players whose careers I’ve followed and to see her compete on that exact same stage — she deserves to be on the court with them.”