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These former Utes made history while qualifying for Paris Olympics

Juana Camilion, right, of Spain, is challenged by Paige Crozon, left, of Canada, for the ball  during the FIBA 3x3 basketball Olympic qualifying tournament women's semifinal match in Debrecen, Hungary, Sunday, May 19, 2024.

The University of Utah will be well represented during the 3x3 women’s basketball competition at this summer’s Paris Olympics.

That’s because a trio of former Utes played pivotal roles last weekend in helping Canada’s 3x3 team qualify for its first-ever Olympics appearance in the sport.

Michelle Plouffe and Paige Crozon made up half of the four-team squad along with teammates Katherine Plouffe and Kacie Bosch, while Kim Smith Gaucher is the team’s coach.

Canada went 5-1 during the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Hungary, including a 21-10 victory over host-team Hungary in the third-place game on Sunday, to secure its spot in the Paris Olympics.

How did the Canada 3x3 women’s basketball team qualify for the Olympics?

After going 3-0 in pool play, Canada beat Italy 21-8 in the quarterfinals Sunday before losing 19-18 to Spain in the semifinals, dropping them into the third-place game.

Crozon, who played at Utah from 2012-17, scored nine points in the win over Italy, including back-to-back 2-pointers to push the lead to 19-7.

In the third-place game, Michelle Plouffe, who played at Utah from 2010-14, scored eight points and had eight rebounds, while her twin sister, Katherine, the tournament MVP, paced the Canadian team with nine points and five rebounds.

Crozon scored the Olympic-clinching final points, cashing in on a putback off her own miss to cap the 21-10 win.

Michelle Plouffe ended the tournament with 42 points and 37 rebounds, including 18 on the offensive end.

Gaucher, known as Kim Smith during her playing days at Utah from 2002-06, is a three-time Olympian who retired from the game in 2022 and now coaches the 3x3 team.

Which teams made the 3x3 basketball field in the 2024 Olympics?

The eight-team fields in both men’s and women’s 3x3 competition are now set in the Paris Olympics.

On the women’s side, that includes the United States, which won gold when 3x3 made its debut in the 2020 Olympic games, China, France, Azerbaijan, Australia, Germany, Spain and Canada.

On the men’s side, the field includes Serbia, the United States (with former BYU star Jimmer Fredette), Latvia, Netherlands, France, Lithuania and Poland.

What is the schedule for the 2024 Paris Olympics?

The 2024 Paris Olympics begin Friday, July 26, and run through Sunday, Aug. 11.

The 3x3 competition will tip off July 30 at Place de La Concorde with pool play that extends through Aug. 4.

Semifinals, bronze-medal games and gold-medal games for both men’s and women’s competition will take place Aug. 5.