(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
IZMIR -- Led by BYU guard Jimmy Balderson, Canada finished with a 4-3 record at the 2005 World University Games held this summer in Turkey. Balderson, who is a junior at BYU this season, led his native country with 14.9 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor during the two-week event.
"It was a great experience to have the opportunity to represent my country," said the Magrath, Alberta native. "I gained a lot of confidence shooting the ball. I was able to play with a lot of good players and face a lot of different styles of basketball."
The Canadian squad took first place with a 3-0 record in round-robin play to open the Games. Playing in Pool D, the Canucks defeated Angola (80-68), Portugal (86-68) and Italy (84-76) before being re-seeded in Classification Group B. Canada's win streak continued with an 85-74 win over Japan but came to an end at the hands of Russia (68-82). Three more close losses to Serbia & Montenegro (77-80), Germany (59-63) and Australia (75-81) earned Canada an eighth-place finish in the 18-team tournament.
In the opening round of play, Balderson shared scoring honors with 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting to help the Canadian team overcome a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat previously unbeaten Italy. He poured in a team-leading 24 points and shared rebounding honors with eight in the win over Portugal and opened the tournament with 10 points and six rebounds against Angola.
After advancing to the second round, Balderson scored just six points against both Japan and Russia but poured in a game-high 26 points while going 7-for-13 from three-point range against Serbia & Montenegro. The 6-foot-6 guard followed that game with a 19-point performance against Germany, the only Canadian to score in double figures. Balderson scored nine in Canada's final game.
For the tournament, Balderson averaged 14.9 points while shooting 49.4 percent from the floor, including 40.5 percent from beyond the arc. He also averaged 4.1 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.0 assists per contest.
The World University Games is a multi-sport event that takes place every two years, and is second in size only to the Olympic Games. The Games are open to competitors between the ages of 17 and 28 who are full-time college/university students or have graduated within the previous year of the event.
Select the following links for more information on the World University Games or Canada Basketball.