Eight NBA players featured on Canada's Olympic-hopeful squad

Jun 28 2021, 1:43 pm

Canada has assembled its most talented team ever, ahead of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament that begins tomorrow in Victoria.

A total of eight NBA players have been named to Canada Basketball’s final roster today, highlighted by New York Knicks star R.J. Barrett and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors.

Other NBAers on the team include: Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Cory Joseph (Detroit Pistons), Trey Lyles (San Antonio Spurs), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans), and Mychal Mulder (Golden State Warriors).

Of the four non-NBA players on the roster, two have NBA experience, including former first-overall draft pick Anthony Bennett (151 NBA games with Cleveland, Minnesota, Toronto and Brooklyn) and Andrew Nicholson (285 NBA games with Orlando, Washington, and Brooklyn).

Trae Bell-Haynes, who plays in Germany, and Aaron Doornekamp (Spain), fill out the roster.

“Hosting the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament is a great occasion for basketball in our country and the team that’s been selected to represent Canada this week is committed to our goal of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Team Canada GM Rowan Barrett. “On behalf of Canada Basketball and our supporters across Canada, I would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the players and staff for their commitment, sacrifice and pride for our country.”

Though Team Canada is missing some star power, including Jamal Murray and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, they’re still in a good position to earn their first Olympic berth in men’s basketball since the Steve Nash-led group at Sydney 2000.

Greece is missing Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is still competing in the NBA playoffs with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The tournament, which runs from June 29 to July 4, will be the first sporting event in British Columbia to welcome back fans since the start of the pandemic. The 7,000-seat Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria will host all the games at 10% capacity, beginning on July 1. For those not in attendance, games can be seen on CBC or streamed on DAZN.

Canada begins the tournament with games against Greece (Tuesday) and China (Wednesday), with each game beginning at 7:05 pm ET/4:05 pm PT. They need to finish first or second in Group A to qualify for the semi-finals, which take place on July 3.

Group B is composed of Uruguay, Czech Republic, and Turkey. The winner of the final on July 4 will book their ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.

Name Position Previous/current club
Nickeil Alexander-Walker Guard New Orleans Pelicans
R.J. Barrett Guard New York Knicks
Trae Bell-Haynes Guard Crailsheim Merlins (Germany)
Anthony Bennett Forward Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico)
Aaron Doornekamp Forward Tenerife (Spain)
Luguentz Dort Guard Oklahoma City Thunder
Cory Joseph Guard Detroit Pistons
Trey Lyles Forward San Antonio Spurs
Mychal Mulder Guard Golden State Warriors
Andrew Nicholson Forward Fujian Sturgeons (China)
Dwight Powell Forward Dallas Mavericks
Andrew Wiggins Forward Golden State Warriors
Rob WilliamsRob Williams

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