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Canada’s women’s basketball coach Victor Lapena is joining the national program full time.

Canada Basketball signed Lapena earlier this year to a multiyear deal that will see him coach the team through the 2024 Paris Olympics. It was mutually agreed that once his season with Turkish club Fenerbahce was over, he would take on a full-time role with Canada’s women’s program, to help grow the game domestically and develop coaches.

He’ll assume full-time duties on June 1.

“Qualifying for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 in February was an important first step for this program, but just one of many that will be required for us to achieve our ultimate goal of a place on the podium in Paris,” Lapena said. “The potential I believe our group possesses is truly exciting and I’m looking forward to working closely with our players and staff over the next several years.”

Lapena led Canada to a 1-1 record at the World Cup 2022 qualifying tournament in Japan in his national coaching debut, to book a spot in the World Cup next fall in Sydney, Australia.

“The coaching experience, technical expertise, along with the passion and energy for basketball he brings is contagious, and will undoubtedly propel our team and the game in Canada to the next level,” said Denise Dignard, general manager and executive vice-president, women’s high performance.

Lapena is a native of Zaragoza, Spain, and has been a part of the Spanish Basketball Federation since 2007, capturing 14 international FIBA medals during his years with Spain’s senior women’s team, as well as various age-group teams.

He was an assistant on the Spanish women’s team that captured silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and helped coached the team to silver at the 2014 FIB world championship.

Canada is in Group B for the World Cup, and will face Serbia on Sept. 22, France on Sept. 23, Japan (Sept. 25), Australia (Sept. 26), and Nigeria (Sept. 27).