First WNBA in Canada excites and inspires TMU women’s basketball coach

31 May 2023 / by Owen Thompson

With the recent WNBA game in Toronto selling out, the head coach of the Toronto Metropolitan Universities (TMU) women’s basketball team the TMU Bold is inspired and excited for the future of women’s basketball in Canada.

Carly Clarke has been coaching women’s basketball for over 15 years. She says that any chance to showcase the best players in the world to a Canadian audience is huge and inspiring.

“There’s a lot of faces playing that you see on TV or social media but when young girls and young players in Canada get to see them I think it creates a whole other level of realness to see it first hand,” says Clarke.

Clarke attended the WNBA game live on May 13. While there, she stumbled upon a few of the players she coaches on the TMU women’s basketball team.

“[I] saw a bunch of [my players] at the game. You know just the fact they are at the game and get to see it live, they’re excited. I think it is telling and motivating,” says Clarke.

In the 15 years of her coaching, Clarke has found the quality of women basketball players in Canada has increased; a testament to the development of Canadian women’s basketball is the development of the Olympic team. She says that 15 years ago it was a battle to qualify for the Olympics. Now the Canadian women’s team is “knocking on the door of winning Gold,” Clark says.

“We’ve qualified for three straight Olympic Games, and we’re working towards qualifying for the fourth,” says Clarke. “The growth and expectation is growing and that’s a product of the development of young players  sticking with it, starting early and getting into high level competition.”

The TMU women’s basketball team is currently on its off season. During the season, a high profile game can fill the TMU gym that can have over a 1,000 people Clarke says, while other nights can have a couple hundred in attendance.

“I always appreciate the support of women’s basketball and you know hopefully this will inspire others to come out and support TMU Bold and all the other women’s basketball events happening around [Toronto] and in the country,” says Clarke.

The TMU Bold Women’s Basketball season is set to begin this upcoming fall.

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