Canada Basketball have announced 29 athletes who have been invited to attend their national training camp ahead of games against the New Zealand MBO Tall Blacks in Sydney and the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Within the line-up, 17 players come from the NBA including Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets), RJ Barrett (New York Knicks), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), and others. And of course Head Coach of NBA Champions Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse, is leading the way.
Tall Blacks Head Coach, Paul Henare, says the heavy-weight roster isn’t a surprise considering how Basketball Canada have developed their players.
“You’ve got 17 guys that are playing in the NBA and many more playing in high level leagues around the world, so it’s a very good team. It’s not a real surprise. Canada are one of the real super-powers of world basketball at this stage and they’ve done a great job at developing depth in their programme.
“There’s talent all across the floor and I’m sure whatever 12 they end up selecting, which isn’t an easy job – I don’t envy their coaching staff and their selection panel – but whatever team they are going to put on the floor are going to be highly motivated and ready to represent their country,” says Coach Henare.
Canada’s depth was on display during the Americas FIBA World Cup Qualifiers as 36 different players represented their country over the course of the six competition windows to qualify for the World Cup. They will be the test that the Tall Blacks will be looking for to prepare for the World Cup. The New Zealanders want to match themselves against the world’s best, and that includes preparation games against France (ranked third in the world), Serbia (ranked fourth) and Italy (13).
Rowan Barrett, Canada’s Basketball General Manager of Men’s High Performance, says the Canada longlist is an exciting one that they’re proud to announce.
“Being asked to represent your country is a tremendous honour and we’re excited about the group of athletes that we have invited to training camp next month in Toronto.
"These athletes demonstrate the depth of talent we now have in our country, as we prepare to meet the challenge of the FIBA Basketball World Cup,” says Barrett.
A final list of Canada’s training camp attendees will be announced prior to the start of camp.
Canada is set to play the New Zealand Tall Blacks in Sydney on 20 and 21 August. The Canadians have a solid preparation ahead of the Tall Blacks clash including a two-game series against Nigeria (7 and 9 August) and two games against Australia on 16-17 August. They then play the United States on 26 August 26. Tickets for these games are on sale now from www.Ticketek.com.au.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China (Aug. 31-Sept. 15, 2019) will be the biggest edition of FIBA's flagship event with a record 32 participating teams playing 92 games over 16 days.
The Tall Blacks are in Group F for the FIBA Basketball World Cup and will face Brazil (1 September), Montenegro (3 September) and Greece (4 September) in the First Round.
The top two teams from Group E (Turkey, Czech Republic, USA and Japan) and the top two from Group F will qualify for the Second Round and form Group K beginning 6 September.
The results of the three games from the First Round carry over to the Second Round with every team playing against the two teams in their new group that they have not faced. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Quarter-Finals.
For the first time, the FIBA Basketball World Cup will qualify seven teams directly for the following year's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. New Zealand must finish higher than Australia to earn a direct berth. Otherwise they will travel to one of four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in June 2020.
For Coach Henare and the Tall Blacks, it’s an exciting road ahead.
“For us it’s about playing together and playing the right way. We believe we can compete with and beat anyone in world basketball.”
For additional information on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, visit http://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2019
Name | Position | Height | Hometown | Previous / Current Club
Nickeil Alexander-Walker | Guard | 6’5” | Toronto, ON New Orleans Pelicans
R.J. Barrett | Guard | 6'7” | Mississauga, ON New York Knicks
Aaron Best | Guard | 6'4” | Scarborough, ON Riesen Ludwigsburg (Germany)
Khem Birch | Centre | 6'9” | Montreal, QC Orlando Magic
Chris Boucher | Centre | 6'10” Montreal, QC Toronto Raptors
Oshae Brissett | Forward | 6’8” Mississauga, ON Syracuse Orange (NCAA)
Dillon Brooks | Forward | 6'7" Mississauga, ON Memphis Grizzlies
Brandon Clarke | Centre | 6’8” Vancouver, BC Memphis Grizzlies
Aaron Doornekamp | Forward | 6’7” Napanee, ON Valencia Basket (Spain)
Luguentz Dort | Guard | 6’4” Montreal, QC Oklahoma City Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander | Guard 6’6” Hamilton, ON Oklahoma City Thunder
Melvin Ejim | Forward | 6'6" Toronto, ON BC UNICS (Russia)
Brady Heslip | Guard | 6’2” Burlington, ON Istanbul BBSK (Turkey)
Cory Joseph | Guard | 6'3" Toronto, ON Sacramento Kings
Mfiondu Kabengele | Forward | 6’10” Burlington, ON Los Angeles Clippers
Naz Mitrou-Long | Guard | 6’4” Mississauga, ON Salt Lake City Stars (G League)
Trey Lyles | Forward | 6’10” Saskatoon, SK San Antonio Spurs
Jamal Murray | Guard | 6’4” Kitchener, ON Denver Nuggets
Andrew Nembhard | Guard | 6’5” Aurora, ON Florida Gators (NCAA)
Kelly Olynyk | Forward | 7'0" Kamloops, BC Miami Heat
Kevin Pangos | Guard | 6’2” Newmarket, ON FC Barcelona Basketball (Spain)
Dwight Powell | Forward | 6'11" Toronto, ON Dallas Mavericks
Phil Scrubb | Guard | 6'4" Richmond, BC Zenit Saint Petersburg (Russia)
Thomas Scrubb | Forward | 6’7” Richmond, BC Openjobmetis Varese (Italy)
Marial Shayok | Forward | 6’5” Ottawa, ON Philadelphia 76ers
Andy Rautins | Guard | 6’4” Syracuse, NY Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul (Turkey)
Nik Stauskas | Guard | 6’6” Mississauga, ON Cleveland Cavaliers
Tristan Thompson | Centre | 6’10” Brampton, ON Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyle Wiltjer | Forward | 6’10” Portland, OR Unicaja Malaga (Spain)
For more on the Tall Blacks including news, the schedule, go to www.TallBlacks.basketball