CBU Women’s Basketball Coach, Fabian McKenzie, has returned to the international stage as he takes on the role of Head Coach of Canada’s U19 Women’s Basketball team. The team will take the court at the world championships this summer in Debrecen, Hungary.
“It’s always an incredible honour to represent our country on the international stage,” says McKenzie. “When I hear the national anthem being played before games it gives me goosebumps.”
McKenzie has been part of Canada Basketball for 14 years holding various roles within the program. While most of his time has been spent as head coach with the development team, his past two years have found him in the Head Coach position for the U19 program. While leading the national team, McKenzie still manages to create champions on the CBU Capers women’s team, showing true dedication to the sport at all levels.
“There is a great deal of time put into the national team program, so it does present its challenges when it comes to balancing my work at CBU,” says McKenzie. “But I have had tremendous support from my Director of Athletics, John Ryan, who has allowed me to pursue this opportunity.”
McKenzie says the experience with Canada Basketball has had an immeasurable impact on his development as a coach. “Every year has been an exploration of the game; new trends, different ways to teach and coach. I’ve connected with so many great minds across our country and I get to coach some of the best in the world,” he explains. “I take all of the best things and incorporate them into our work with the Capers, so my experience helps our players and program as well.”
After a year and a half of COVID-19 lockdowns and protocols, McKenzie says the players can’t wait to get back on the court. Practices felt surreal at first, but the team has begun to settle into their routine and is ready to take on the competition.
Canada will take on Japan in their opening pool game on Saturday, August 7, followed by a game against the Czech Republic on August 8. McKenzie says their record in these games will determine whether they head to the medal round, noting that Team Canada will play a total of seven games from August 7-15. “Every game will be a challenge, but we have the talent to do well,” says McKenzie. “We have to remain disciplined and play very well at the defensive end of the floor.”
Cape Breton University would like to wish Coach McKenzie and Team Canada the best of luck. The Island is rooting for you!