There is a little irony in Oregon St Beaver Jamie Weisner having played for Canada’s Junior Women’s National Team this past July at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women. The biggest one is that she is an American who has chosen to represent the Red and White minus the Blue – the country with the beaver as a national symbol. The Washington native, whose father is from Vancouver, is a dual citizen and had one good summer representing Canada as a new Canadian.
After winning a state title in her senior year in 2012, Weisner kept the ball rolling as a freshman. She was the star of a young Beavers team posting 12.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals that included four double-doubles and five 20+ point games including a 27-point game against USC to start conference play. Her outstanding performance as a rookie earned a spot on the PAC-12 All-Freshman Team. She also got an honorable mention in the process. It was this resume and basketball momentum that she took with her to Europe, but it may not have happened if it were not for her roommate.
Weisner credits current Oregon St. teammate, and National Program player Ruth Hamblin for getting the Canada Basketball brass to consider Weisner to joining the JWNT this past summer. After Hamblin had made the introductions, Weisner was invited to a tryout camp in the spring where she turned enough heads to be invited back to the final training camp in the summer. It was at this point that she had to make a decision.
“About a month (after the spring tryout camp in Canada) I got a letter from USA Basketball,” states Weisner. “It was a tough decision but I had felt that I had already met people (in the Program), been (through tryouts), got my foot in the door, and I decided to stick with it and I’m glad I did.”
Weisner, who was about five months into her citizenship, spent little time asserting herself and showed exactly what kind of player she is once on the team. While on her first tour with the National Program, she displayed the all-around game averaging 17 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals over her four games and was voted to the All-Tournament team for her effort. Not a bad debut for the rookie.
“Playing in the PAC-12 is a tough league and I feel that it prepared me for what I faced at the international level,” says Weisner when asked about the competition she faced. “(The biggest difference) is that you don’t have much time to prepare for every game. What you have all season to do in college you only have a month to do at the World Championships.”
But you really could not tell if she were ill prepared for the international game .
Jamie came out with a 33-point, 10-rebound, 3-assist game to start off the tournament against the Netherlands and finished just as strong going for 20 points, 16 rebounds and 3 assists against Japan. She end up as the tournament’s third leading scorer and scoring an astounding 136 of Canada’s 515 points (that’s 26.4% of the total output if you want to be exact). With these types of numbers, Weisner has definitely solidified herself as a star on the rise.
And what about one day again donning the Red and White flag of her new country?
“If they want me back,” she says with an audible grin, “I’ll pursue it as long as I can, that’s for sure.”