Canadian women's basketball team loses three longtime players to retirement
Canada's Nirra Fields goes up for a shot against United States' Stephanie Mavunga during the second quarter of the women's basketball gold medal game at the Pan Am Games, Monday, July 20, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Three longtime members of the Canadian women's basketball team are retiring from international competition.
Guard Nirra Fields of Lachine, Que., and Edmonton twin sisters Katherine and Michelle Plouffe announced their decisions on Thursday.
Fields made her Canada debut for the under-16 team in 2009 and has played in 102 international games, while Katherine and Michelle Plouffe have combined for 195 games for national teams.
"Ever since Nirra burst on the international scene with our U16 team, we knew that she was going to be something special," said Canada coach Lisa Thomaidis.
"On the court, her talent is undeniable, but what I'm most proud of Nirra for is her work ethic, the time and effort she put into her game, as well as into her personal growth."
The Plouffe sisters were thrilled to be able to play together for their country.
"It's been so special to share my experiences with Michelle," Katherine said. "She's been a role model for me in her work ethic and her toughness and I am just her biggest fan. Playing together and travelling the world with Team Canada have been some great, great memories for me."
The twins say they are turning their attention to three-on-three basketball, which makes its Olympic debut next year in Tokyo.