Basketball Without Borders Global 2019 wrapped up on Sunday and Canada was well represented at the event.
Aaliyah Mckenzie Edwards from Toronto, Ontario took home MVP honours after leading her team - the Minnesota Lynx - to the BWB Global Girls Championship.
“For me the experience was amazing,” Mckenzie Edwards told NBA.com. ” The opportunity to be mentored and also work and train with a whole bunch of coaches from WNBA and NBA - it was great.”
Mckenzie Edwards led a team with girls from China, Japan, India, Algeria, Germany and other parts of the world - and while English wasn’t everyone’s first language it was the Canadian who took it upon herself to be a leader and make everyone feel comfortable.
“Being a leader for my team,” Mckenzie Edwards continued. “My team had a lot of diversity so a lot of people didn’t know the English language. So I think me just trying to make them feel more confident about themselves really helped us as a team win the championship…for me to develop more as a leader.”
Fellow Canadian Yvonne Ejim, from Alberta, was more than grateful for the experience in Charlotte.
“Just being able to play against different girls around the world,” Ejim told NBA.com about her experience. “Seeing all this talent, seeing all this competition…it’s kind of nice to be exposed to this type of community and environment and be able to play basketball the type of way you want to play basketball in the next few years.
“whether it’s in the WNBA, professionally or college this is the people you’re going to have to go against. It’s kind of nice to be able to experience it for yourself.”
Ejim also talked about what a weekend and event like BWB was able to teach her, and she’s excited to apply those learnings to the next phase of her development.
“Resilience making sure that nothing gets to me,” Ejim continued. “Some people miss a shot and they’re like all down on themselves - just making sure that I’m bouncing back and keep on pushing myself to my limits.”
On the boys end the Toronto Raptors won the BWB Global Team Championship which featured Canadian Cashius McNeilly. Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe was the only Canadian on the boys’ side to be named an All-Star impressing scouts and NBA executives throughout the weekend with his play.
Deni Avdija from Israel took home MVP honours and was fair and away one of the most impressive prospects at the event.
The full list of awards below:
BWB Global 2019 Awards:
Boys MVP: Deni Avdija (Israel)
Girls MVP: Aaliyah Mckenzie Edwards (Canada)
Patrick Baumann Sportsmanship Award: Santiago Vescovi (Uruguay) and Zoe Wadoux (France)
Grit Award: Charlisse Leger-Walker (New Zealand) and Kerr Kriisa (Estonia)
Three-Point Champion: Gemma Potter (Australia) and Tamuri Wigness (Australia)
BWB Global 2019 All-Stars:
Boys: Santiago Vescovi (Uruguay); Tamuri Wigness (Australia); Matthieu Gauzin (France); Jermaine Miranda Perez (Puerto Rico); Jovan Kljajuc (Montenegro); Killian Hayes (France); Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe (Canada); Deni Avdija (Israel); Tristan Enaruna (Netherlands), Samuel Mennenga (New Zealand): Amar Sylla (Senegal), Khalifa Diop (Senegal)
Girls: Nika Mühl (Croatia); Ming Zheng (China); Göksen Fitik (Turkey); Zoe Wadoux (France); Florencia Chagas (Argentina); Aminata Sangare (Mali); Aaliyah Mckenzie Edwards (Canada)
BWB Global 2019 Team Champion:
Toronto Raptors: Tamuri Wigness (Australia); Matthieu Gauzin (France); Cashius McNeilly (Canada); Chien-Hao Ma (Chinese Taipei); Julian Strawther (Puerto Rico); Matej Rudan (Croatia); Nelly Junior Joseph (Nigeria); Clifford Omoruyi (Nigeria); Khalifa Diop (Senegal)
Minnesota Lynx: Ming Zheng (China); Misa Hayashi (Japan); Grishma Niranjan (India), Meriem Saadoui (Algeria); Emily Bessoir (Germany); Simona Visockaite (Lithuania); Aaliyah Mckenzie Edwards (Canada); Mariana Valenzuela Medina (Mexico)
Full Story by: NBA