LONDON — Fueled by a series of solid outings from Notre Dame junior forward Natalie Achonwa, the Canadian women’s basketball team finished up a landmark performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, reaching the quarterfinal round for the first time in 28 years in what was that nation’s first Olympic appearance since 2000.
Achonwa, the second-youngest women’s basketball player at this year’s Olympics at age 19, came off the bench in all six games for Canada, averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. She also ranked among the top four on the Canadian roster in rebounds, assists, steals, field goal percentage and points, while posting double-figure scoring efforts against Group B winner France (14 points) and the world’s sixth-ranked team, Brazil (11 points) during the preliminary round.
Canada went 2-4 during the London Olympics, earning their first spot in the Olympic quarterfinals since the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Canada saw its Olympic journey come to an end on Tuesday with a 91-48 loss to the four-time defending gold medalist United States at the Olympic Basketball Arena in London.
Achonwa now returns to South Bend to begin preparing for her junior season at Notre Dame, after averaging a career-high 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game with a .557 field goal percentage in 2011-12 and helping the Fighting Irish to their second consecutive NCAA national championship game appearance.
In her two-year career, Achonwa is averaging 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Achonwa is the first of three Notre Dame women’s basketball players who will be representing her country on the international stage this month. Freshman guard Michaela Mabreywill suit up for the United States Under-18 National Team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship Aug. 15-19 in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, while senior All-America guard Skylar Digginsalso will compete for the United States at the inaugural FIBA 3x3 World Championships Aug. 23-26 in Athens, Greece.