Who’s the Canadian crew of the yr?

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On Monday, basketball star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gained the Northern Star Award for Canadian athlete of the yr. The Northern Star voters do not choose a crew of the yr, however The Canadian Press will later this month.

So, who ought to get it? Listed here are my high two candidates for Canadian crew of the yr, plus another squads worthy of recognition:

Canadian males’s basketball crew

Led by Gilgeous-Alexander, the squad took Canadian followers on fairly the trip at this summer time’s Basketball World Cup in Asia.

First, they ended a long time of frustration by defeating Spain in a Labour Day thriller to clinch Canada’s first Olympic males’s basketball berth since 2000. Then they earned Canada’s first-ever journey to the boys’s World Cup semifinals by beating NBA star Luka Doncic’s Slovenia. After dropping to Serbia within the semis, SGA and firm rebounded to upset the US 127-118 in additional time within the bronze sport to win Canada’s first-ever medal on the males’s World Cup or world championship, because it was beforehand recognized.

Many of the credit score (deservedly) went to Gilgeous-Alexander, who was the very best all-around participant in a match that additionally featured fellow 2023 NBA All-Stars Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Lauri Markkanen and Doncic. Dillon Brooks performed a key position too, scoring a Canadian males’s nationwide crew file 39 factors within the bronze sport and supplying his trademark physicality and depth all through the match. New head coach Jordi Fernandez additionally handed his first take a look at with flying colors. The Spaniard took over simply two months earlier than the World Cup after Nick Nurse stop following his firing by the Raptors.

If NBA stars Jamal Murray and Andrew Wiggins return to the fold subsequent summer time after skipping the World Cup, this crew’s probabilities of profitable Canada’s first Olympic basketball medal since 1936 might go from good to nice.

Canada’s Billie Jean King Cup ladies’s tennis crew

A yr after Felix Auger-Aliassime led Canada to its first-ever Davis Cup title, Leylah Fernandez and her teammates pulled off the ladies’s equal, capturing the Billie Jean King Cup final month in Spain. Within the earlier 59 years that the match existed (underneath numerous names) Canada had reached the semifinals simply as soon as (in 1988) and by no means made the ultimate.

The victory was made much more stunning by the tough yr Canada’s singles gamers had on the WTA Tour. Fernandez, two years faraway from her journey to the U.S. Open remaining, had fallen to thirty fifth on the earth rankings. And he or she was simply the highest singles participant on a squad with No. 176 Rebecca Marino, No. 258 Marina Stakusic and No. 276 Eugenie Bouchard. Bianca Andreescu, ranked 91st on the time, was out with a again damage.

However one thing clicked once they arrived on the 12-team Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Spain. Stakusic, a just about unknown teenage BJK Cup rookie who has by no means appeared in a principal draw on the WTA Tour, surprised everybody by profitable three of her 4 singles matches, together with a victory over Forty third-ranked Martina Trevisan within the remaining vs. Italy.

Fernandez went 4-for-4 in singles and was completely clutch within the semifinals and remaining. With Canada one defeat away from elimination within the semis vs. the Czech Republic, she upset reigning Wimbledon champ Marketa Vondrousova after which teamed with doubles ace Gabriela Dabrowski to win the deciding match over Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who’ve gained seven Grand Slam titles collectively. The following day, Fernandez clinched the Cup along with her straight-sets win over Italy’s Jasmine Paolini, giving Canada the premier trophy in worldwide ladies’s crew tennis.

Honourable mentions:

The Canadian boys that gained the world junior hockey championship in Halifax, led by the record-breaking Connor Bedard; Brad Gushue’s curling crew, which gained the skip’s file fifth Brier title and took silver on the males’s world championship; Kerri Einarson’s curling crew, which gained their record-tying fourth consecutive Scotties title and second straight bronze on the worlds; the velocity skating trio of Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais, who gained the ladies’s crew pursuit gold on the world championships and repeated as World Cup champs; and the Montreal Alouetttes, who upset Winnipeg to win the franchise’s first Gray Cup in 13 years.

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