July 7, 2024 

Canada’s Laeticia Amihere becomes the youngest Olympian in Dream history

"It’s going to be a moment that is very meaningful for me and my family"

Atlanta Dream forward Laeticia Amihere is set to make history as she heads to her second Olympic Games with Team Canada. At just 23 years old, she becomes the youngest Olympian in Atlanta’s franchise history and the first to compete in 5×5 competition since Angel McCoughtry in 2016.

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“It’s awesome,” head coach Tanisha Wright told the media. “It’s something we expected, but any time you get your name called, it’s a sigh of relief and a great honor to represent your [country]. I wish LA nothing but luck when she goes there so she can represent her country in a special way, [but also] represent the Dream and herself in a special way.”

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Having debuted in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Amihere looks forward to an even more meaningful experience in Paris. For the first time, her parents will watch her compete live for Team Canada.

“It’s going to be a moment that is very meaningful for me and my family,” Amihere told the media after shootaround on Friday. “It gives you an extra boost of motivation when you’re in front of your family. It’s going to give a little home-court advantage for me.”

At 20 years old, Amihere averaged 4.7 points and four rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game for Canada at the Tokyo Olympics. This included a standout performance with 10 points and six rebounds on 50% shooting from the field against Spain during the group phase.

“Every game feels like a championship game because there’s so much at stake, so you can’t take any possessions off,” Amihere reflected on her biggest takeaway from the Tokyo Olympics. “I’m just excited. I know I have a big royalty in Canada, and I’m very important to that team, so I just have to do everything I can to be ready.”

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A major storyline regarding Canada’s 2024 Olympic roster is its youthful makeup. Joining Amihere, the team features four other players who are 23 years old or younger, including Washington Mystics rookie big Aaliyah Edwards.

“It’s gonna be so cool being with her again,” Edwards said on the opportunity to play with Amihere again at the Olympics. “… I’ve only got to see her twice now [this season], but even before that, we were in college. We barely really saw each other. But once we came together national team, it was cool playing alongside each other, because we’re both like-minded.

“We both have that versatile ability, relentless approach with rebounds, and relentless approach of just being a threat on both ends of the court. So it’ll be good to team back up [for] Canada.”

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Amihere also expressed her excitement about the team’s future. “It’s a great vision for what the future is going to look like,” she said. “We’ll probably have some people retiring in the next couple of years, so knowing our team is in good hands is comforting to have.” 

Additionally, Amihere will join teammate Rhyne Howard and head coach Tanisha Wright in Paris. Howard, a two-time All-Star, will represent Team USA in the 3×3 event, while Wright will serve as a scout for Team USA’s 5×5 team. 

“I’m excited to see Ms. two-time Olympian get out there in Paris, dunk on somebody, and get crazy,” guard Haley Jones added with a laugh.

The Next’s Jenn Hatfield contributed reporting for this story.

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Written by Hunter Cruse

Hunter Cruse covers the Atlanta Dream and the WNBA Draft for The Next.

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