NORMAN — Oklahoma freshman guard Shaina Pellington is set to represent Canada at the 2017 FIBA U19 Women's World Cup in Udine and Cividale Del Friuli, Italy. The eight-day tournament runs July 22-30.
Pellington and Canada will take on Korea (July 22), France (July 23) and Latvia (July 25) in Group C pool play. The top two teams after pool play is completed advance to the final stage to compete for in the Round of 16. Canada heads into the competition ranked fourth in the FIBA World Rankings.
Pellington and Canada recently completed a three-game exhibition run in Voiron, France. Pellington started two of the three exhibition contests and played 25 minutes in Canada's 71-53 win over China on July 17. The Pickering, Ontario, Canada, native added seven points off the bench in 16 minutes against Austraila in another exhibition matchup.
Over the last two summers with the Canadian program, Pellington has earned extensive international experience. She competed at the 2016 U17 World Championships, averaging 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Pellington led the U16 squad to the FIBA Americas gold medal in 2015.
The 5-7 guard, who is ranked the No. 1 international point guard by Prospect Nation, recently was named the MVP of the Across Boarder Global Games in May. Pellington scored 16 points for Team Canada, while competing against some of the United States' top players in the 2017 signing class.
Playing for Bronze
In the first game of Group C play, Pellington guided Canada to a 91-45 victory over Korea in Udine, Italy, Saturday. The future Sooner was poised throughout the contest, scoring 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting, while knocking down a pair of free throws. The Pickering, Ontario, Canada, native scored the first basket of the contest for the Canadians. She also collected seven rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes of action.
In Canada's 54-45 victory over France on Sunday, Pellington played 24 minutes and collected four rebounds and three steals, while scoring one point. Pellington's effort on defense helped Canada limit France to a .280 field goal percentage in the win.
Pellington provided 15 points on Tuesday as Canada clinched Group C and defeated Latvia, 74-70. The future Sooner sparked a 26-point third quarter for the Canadians by corralling her own missed free throw, drawing contact and converting a 3-point play at the foul line. Pellington also added in five rebounds, two assists and finished 5-for-1-0 from the field in 29 minutes of action.
After resting in Canada's Round of 16 win over Mexico on Wednesday, Pellington provided the Canadians a spark in Friday's quarterfinal contest with China. After the Chinese squad grabbed an early first-quarter lead, Pellington poured in eight points by halftime to pull Canada within two points. Pellington provided 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting along with four rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes of action as Canada defeated China, 68-65. The victory gave Canada its first semifinal appearance at the event since 2009.
In Canada's 65-41 semifinal loss to Russia, Pellington had five points, two rebounds and one assists in 21 minutes. Russia jumped out early in the first quarter and never looked back, shooting 50 percent (11-of-22) from 3-point range.
On Sunday, Pellington will look to guide Canada to the bronze medal as it takes on Japan at 11:30 a.m. CT. Fans can watch the game on WatchESPN.com.
Pellington becomes the third player to represent Oklahoma at the FIBA U19 World Championships. She joins Gabbi Ortiz (2015) and Courtney Paris (2005), who both competed for the United States. Ortiz led USA Basketball to a gold medal in 2015.
Pellington also joins Stacey Dales as Oklahoma players to represent Canada at the international level. Dales competed with the Canadian National Team at the 1999 Pan American Games and the 2000 Summer Olympics.