Crone earns national camp invite

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Matthew Gourlie
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Peacock freshman invited to Basketball Canada’s national age group assessment camp in Toronto

Macaela Crone has achieved a lot of firsts in the last few months.

Macaela Crone, right, playing for Saskatchewan at the 15U national basketball championship this past August. submitted photo

At the end of the summer, the local basketball player was named a first-team all-star at the Canadian 15U women’s national basketball championships as she helped lead Saskatchewan to a semifinal berth. More recently she’s made her high school basketball debut with the Peacock Toilers.

Now she’s ready an even bigger first: next week the 14-year-old will attend her first national team camp. Crone is one of 39 players who have been invited to Basketball Canada’s national age group assessment camp in Toronto.

“I’m very excited,” said Crone. “I’m anxious. I’m excited to get this great learning experience and I guess I’ll see what happens when I get there.”

Whatever happens at the camp, it is already a huge achievement just to be invited. The six-foot-one Grade 9 student is one of only two 1999-born players invited to the camp which is comprised of players vying for a spot on the national women’s junior and cadette teams.

Crone is the only player from Saskatchewan who has been invited to take part.

She has already showed that she can excel against the best young basketball players in the country.

At the 15U nationals she scored 19 second half points to lead Team Sask to a 56-45 win over Alberta and then she played a key role in their 63-53 upset win over British Columbia to earn a trip to the semis. Crone had 18 points and 10 rebounds — both were game highs — against B.C.

“I was super comfortable at nationals. It was my second year on the team ... and that brought my confidence up. It was a great season,” said Crone.

Crone’s play at 15U nationals earned her this opportunity and she has been working hard to make the most of it. She has been training three days a week at the Team Redgoat training centre since the start of September. She has also been doing skill sessions since the beginning of November and now is practicing every day with Peacock.

She has been playing post with the Toilers, but will likely play either of the two forward positions or possibly as a shooting guard while she is in Toronto.

“My versatility has gotten me the look for sure. I can post people up, I can shoot the outside three,” said Crone.

The third FIBA Under-17 Women’s World Championship will be held this coming summer in Slovakia. Canada has qualified and will look to improve upon their bronze medal finish from 2012. This assessment camp will be a big tool towards building that team.

Still, Crone is so young she would be eligible for the 2016 U17 worlds as well as the cadette team that will play at the under-16 American championships in the summer of 2015. That tournament will be used as the qualifier for the 2016 FIBA world tournament.

“If I didn’t make the team this year they would probably give me a second look in following years if I did well at nationals,” said Crone. “But I’m focused on the present.

“No matter the outcome, I can tell you I’m planning on giving 110 per cent.”

The camp will be held at Humber College from Dec. 16-20 and will feature two on-court sessions every day. That will see the players spend five hours a day on the floor in addition to a number of off-court sessions as well.

Junior (U18) women’s national team head coach Rich Chambers and cadette (U16) women’s national team head coach Carly Clarke will help lead the camp.

They will be joined by eight assistant coaches and a group of performance analysts and statistical consultants will also be on hand as Basketball Canada looks to implement a style of play coming out of the women’s high-performance technical summit that they held a week ago.

Organizations: Humber College

Geographic location: Toronto, Saskatchewan, Team Sask Alberta British Columbia Slovakia Canada

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