Sudbury news: Local basketball phenom Syla Swords named to Olympic team

It was a history-making day for Sudbury’s Syla Swords, who was named to Canada’s Olympic basketball team on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old rising star will be the youngest person ever to play Olympic basketball for Canada.

The six-foot guard was named to the team by the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“Swords is the daughter of Shawn Swords, who proudly represented Canada in Sydney in 2000,” the official announcement said.

“At 18 years old, she will become the youngest basketball player to ever play for Canada at the Olympic Games.”

She is ESPN’s 11th-ranked 2024 prospect and has committed to play next season for Michigan University.

Her previous team, Long Island Lutheran Girls Basketball Team, posted a tribute to Swords after the announcement Tuesday.

And on June 16, Canada Basketball posted a YouTube video of an interview with Syla, Shawn and her sister Savvy.

Shawn said he encouraged his daughters to play other sports – “I actually pushed them to get into hockey,” he said.

“But they really didn’t like at all,” he laughed.

“What’s unique about our relationship is that he’s been through what we want to do,” Syla said in the interview.

“We both want to be Olympians and we both want to represent Canada to the best of our abilities. So he just understands the game from a player’s perspective.”

She said both of their parents “know we want to play at a high level but never demanding anything of us, making sure that we’re the ones who want to get ourselves there and them doing the best they can to be resources for us is what has made us so successful,” she added.

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