Balderson Named to Canada's World University Games Squad

Junior-to-be guard Jimmy Balderson has been selected to the 12-member team that will represent Canada at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey, Aug. 11-21. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

OTTAWA -- BYU men's basketball player Jimmy Balderson has been selected to the 12-member team that will represent Canada at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey, Aug. 11-21.

Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) -- the Canadian representative of the International University Sports Federation -- announced members of the team Thursday following of a two-week training-camp style tryout in Kingston, Ontario, with the Canadian U-21 development team and several members joining the squad from the National Team training camp in Toronto.

"I feel good about making the team and look forward to this opportunity," said Balderson, a 6-foot-6 guard who will enter his junior season at BYU in the fall. "I'm excited to be able to represent Canada and play against some great international players."

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.

"By making that team, Jimmy will have a great opportunity to play against some very good international competition," BYU men's basketball coach Dave Rose said. "Jimmy has worked hard to earn his spot on the team. I'm happy for Jimmy."

The Canadian squad is expected to be led by Pasha Bains (Richmond, B.C.) and Jeff Ferguson (Toronto, Ont.), members from the 2003 FISU Games bronze medal team. Bains was the 2003-04 CIS Outstanding Player of the Year.

In addition to Balderson, other players named to the team include Rans Brempong (Thornhill, Ont.), Kyle Julius (Kitchener, Ont.), Mike King (Cambridge, Ont.), Jamie McNeilly (Scarborough, Ont.), Scott Morrison (North Vancouver, B.C.), Erfan Nasajpour (Winnipeg, Man.) Jordan Sabourin (Sarnia, Ont), James Shane (Toronto) and Jevohn Shepherd (Scarborough, Ont.).

Kevin Hanson (Vancouver, B.C.) head coach of the 2003 team is back to lead the team. He will be joined on the coaching staff by assistant coaches Thom Gillespie (Fredericton, N.B.) and Sherman Hamilton (Toronto, Ont.).

Canada will open round-robin play on the 12th with a game against Angola. They will be back on the hardwood on the 13th against Portugal and finish up the preliminary against Italy on the 14th.

In Canada's appearance at the 2003 games in Daegu, Korea, they captured the bronze medal by defeating China 82-80. Serbia and Montenegro picked up the gold with Russia taking the silver.

Historically, Canada's best result at the games came with their gold medal performance in 1983 in front of the hometown crowd in Edmonton. Canada has earned five medals at the last seven games (2003-bronze, 1997-silver, 1995-bronze, 1993-silver and 1991-silver).

Overall, this year's 23rd World University Games will include 9,000 participants from 170 countries competing in the following sports: archery, athletics, basketball, diving, fencing, gymnastics, sailing, soccer, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling.

Basketball Staff

Name / School / Hometown / Position

John Grace / NA / Barrie, Ont. / Team Manager

Kevin Hanson / University of British Columbia / Vancouver, B.C. / Head Coach

Thom Gillespie / University of New Brunswick / Fredericton, N.B. / Assistant Coach

Sherman Hamilton / NA / Toronto, Ont. / Assistant Coach

Geoff Mabey / NA / Saint John, N.B. / Therapist

Team Members

Name / School / Hometown / Position

Pasha Bains / University of British Columbia / Richmond, B.C. / Guard

Jimmy Balderson / Brigham Young University / Magrath, Alberta / Guard

Rans Brempong / Western Carolina University / Thornhill, Ont. / Forward

Jeff Ferguson / University of Missouri / Toronto, Ont. / Forward

Kyle Julius / University of Guelph / Kitchener, Ont. / Guard

Mike King / University of Wisconsin / Cambridge, Ont. / Forward

Jamie McNeilly / University of New Orleans / Scarborough, Ont. / Guard

Scott Morrison / Portland State University / North Vancouver, B.C. / Centre

Erfan Nasajpour / University of Winnipeg / Winnipeg, Man. / Guard

Jordan Sabourin / Oakland University / Sarnia, Ont. / Centre

James Shane / Loyola University / Toronto, Ont / Guard

Jevohn Shepherd / University of Michigan / Scarborough, Ont. / Forward