Christa Eniojukan to make Canadian national team head coaching debut this summer at GLOBL Jam
TORONTO (May 25, 2023) — Canada Basketball announced today that Christa Eniojukan has been selected as head coach of Canada’s U23 women’s national team that will compete this summer at GLOBL JAM.
“It is an honour to represent our country with the U23s in Toronto this summer,” said Eniojukan. “We have a vast amount of talent in this age group, and GLOBL JAM provides them an excellent opportunity to gain valuable international experience and showcase their talents at home. On behalf of our staff, we’re incredibly excited for GLOBL JAM and the chance to lead Canada at home.”
GLOBL JAM, the world-class international basketball showcase, returns to Toronto this summer, July 12-16, and will feature women’s and men’s Under-23 teams from around the world taking to the court at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and broadcast nationally across Sportsnet platforms.
Currently the Head Coach of the York University women’s basketball program, a position she has held since the 2021-22 season, Eniojukan returned to the Lions after spending two seasons with the team between 2003-05, where she was named the most valuable player in her final year. Before joining the Lions, Eniojukan was the head coach at Ontario Tech for their inaugural women’s basketball season in the OUA. While coaching at Ontario Tech, Eniojukan was a mentor in the Black Canadian Coach’s Association’s Black Female Coach Mentorship Program (BFCMP). Eniojukan was paired with Senior Women’s National Team standout and former WNBA pro Kayla Alexander in this program.
Eniojukan has been involved with Canada Basketball since 2010, assisting as a target athlete strategy (TAS) coach at numerous training camps and last summer joined Cheryl Jean-Paul’s staff last summer as a performance analyst for the FIBA U17 Women’s World Cup 2022 in Debrecen, Hungary. At the provincial level, Eniojukan guided Team Ontario’s U17 to gold in 2015 and 2016 and silver in 2014 and 2017 at the Canada Basketball 17U National Championship.
Joining Eniojukan on the bench will be assistant coaches Ajay Sharma and Tenicha Gittens, who will also be coaching Canada for the first time this summer, while Carrie Watts has been named performance analyst.
One of the winningest coaches in OCAA and CCAA history, as the Head Coach of Humber College’s women’s basketball team, Sharma has guided the Hawks to a pair of national championships and is a five-time OCAA champion, including four consecutive provincial titles between 2015-18. The 2016 OCAA and CCAA Coach of the Year owns a remarkable 157-17 (.902) regular season record and has captured seven division titles in his ten seasons with the team. Sharma will be looking to bring a home-court advantage to Toronto Metropolitan University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre as he owns a 90-7 (.928) home record and an unprecedented five undefeated seasons at Humber’s North Campus Gym. Between February 1, 2014, and January 20, 2019 – 49 home games – the Hawks went undefeated under Sharma’s guidance.
While GLOBL JAM will mark his Canadian coaching debut, he does have international coaching experience as he previously was a guest coach with the Indian Basketball Federation men’s basketball team in 2005.
Gittens will join Canada this summer, coming off her ninth season as head coach of the Concordia Stingers women’s basketball program. Following a collegiate playing career at Eastern Arizona Junior College, where she helped lead the team to a runner-up finish in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference – its best finish in 15 years – and several seasons at Hofstra University, Gittens transitioned from player to coach. After serving as an assistant coach with McGill’s women’s basketball team, Gittens held several coaching positions with three Division 1 NCAA institutions – LaSalle University, St. Francis University and Howard University – before being hired by the Stingers in 2015. Since joining the Stingers, she’s led the team to a pair of second-place finishes in the RSEQ and an appearance at the U SPORTS Women’s Basketball Final 8 in 2018-19, the team’s first appearance at the national championship in 20 years.
Like Eniojukan, Gittens was involved off the court as a mentor with the Black Canadian Coaches Association’s Black Female Coach Mentorship Program during its inaugural season in 2020-2021.
Watts will take on the performance analyst role for the first time with Canada Basketball after previously serving as an assistant coach at the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade. As a player, Watts represented the Senior Women’s National Team from 2005-07 after wrapping up a decorated career with the UBC Thunderbirds which included winning the 2004 U SPORTS championship. Following her player career, Watts joined her alma mater as the lead assistant coach — a role she held for 14 seasons, before ultimately becoming the University of Victoria Vikes head coach. Watts is set to enter her third season as the head coach of the Vikes next season.
Canada will face the United States (University of Louisville), Puerto Rico, and the African Continent U23 Women’s Select Team in round-robin action before the top two teams face off for gold on July 16th.
Tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster, starting at less than $20 per session for two games. Fans can also secure seats to all six Team Canada men’s and women’s round-robin games and the gold medal championship game with the Team Canada Gold pack for as low as $76.
GLOBL JAM offers a unique development opportunity for targeted players within the Senior Women’s National Team program as they also have their sights on the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 Olympic Games.
Sportsnet, Canada’s #1 sports media brand, returns as the exclusive broadcaster of GLOBL JAM FIVES, delivering full-court coverage across its national TV and streaming platforms. Full coverage details, including the broadcast team and schedule, will be announced at a later date.
For more information on GLOBL JAM, including game schedule, ticket information, volunteer opportunities and more, visit globljam.ca.
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