14 NBA players named to Canada's Olympic qualifying camp roster

May 27 2021, 11:09 am

Canada Basketball has assembled its most talented roster ever, ahead of Olympic qualifying in Victoria next month.

In order to qualify for the Olympics in men’s basketball for the first time since 2000, Canada will need to win the six-team tournament, which takes place June 29 to July 4 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. While Jamal Murray and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are unavailable due to injury, the national team did get 14 NBA players to commit to playing for their country this summer.

Canada’s Olympic qualifying training camp roster is highlighted by New York Knicks guard R.J. Barrett and Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins announced his intention to play two days ago, marking the first time since 2015 that he’ll represent his country.

But the list of top-level talent doesn’t end there.

Rising stars like Dillon Brooks (17.2 PPG with Memphis) and Luguentz Dort (14 PPG with Oklahoma City) are also on the roster. They’re being joined by veterans like Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph, and Tristan Thompson.

Other notable players include Nickeil Alexander-Walker (11 PPG with New Orleans), Oshae Brissett (10.9 PPG with Indiana), and Brandon Clarke (10.3 PPG with Memphis).

Toronto Raptors big man Khem Birch is playing, while Chris Boucher was not listed. Nick Nurse will serve as Canada’s head coach.

The NBA playoffs will overlap this tournament, so there is a chance that players will opt out. Currently, five players are still competing in the postseason, including Barrett (New York Knicks), Brooks and Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies), Thompson (Boston Celtics), and Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks).

Name Position Height Hometown Previous / Current Club
Kyle Alexander Forward 6’11” Milton, ON Fuenlabrada (Spain)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker Guard 6’6” Toronto, ON New Orleans Pelicans
R.J. Barrett Guard 6’6” Mississauga, ON New York Knicks
Trae Bell-Haynes Guard 6’2” Toronto, ON Crailsheim Merlins (Germany)
Anthony Bennett Forward 6’8” Toronto, ON N/A
Khem Birch Centre 6’9” Montreal, QC Toronto Raptors
Oshae Brissett Forward 6’7” Mississauga, ON Indiana Pacers
Dillon Brooks Forward 6’7″ Mississauga, ON Memphis Grizzlies
Brandon Clarke Forward 6’8” Vancouver, BC Memphis Grizzlies
Aaron Doornekamp Forward 6’7” Napanee, ON Tenerife (Spain)
Luguentz Dort Guard 6’4” Montreal, QC Oklahoma City Thunder
Melvin Ejim Forward 6’6″ Toronto, ON Buducnost VOLI (Montenegro)
Cory Joseph Guard 6’3″ Toronto, ON Detroit Pistons
Trey Lyles Forward 6’10” Saskatoon, SK San Antonio Spurs
Mychal Mulder Guard 6’3” Windsor, ON Golden State Warriors
Andrew Nicholson Forward 6’9” Mississauga, ON Fujian Sturgeons (China)
Andrew Nembhard Guard 6’5” Aurora, ON Gonzaga Bulldogs (NCAA)
Kelly Olynyk Forward 7’0″ Kamloops, BC Houston Rockets
Dwight Powell Forward 6’11” Toronto, ON Dallas Mavericks
Tristan Thompson Centre 6’10” Brampton, ON Boston Celtics
Andrew Wiggins Forward 6’7” Vaughan, ON Golden State Warriors

β€œThere is no greater feeling in sports than the chance to represent your country on the highest international stage at the Olympic Games,” said GM Rowan Barrett. β€œOur players and staff fully recognize the unique opportunity that lies ahead of us and I would like to commend them for their dedication to playing for Canada this summer.”

Due to Canada’s current COVID-19 quarantine laws, training camp will be held at the Raptors’ temporary facility in Tampa, Florida next month.

Canada will compete in Group A and will play Greece and China in the preliminary round. Group B includes Uruguay, Czech Republic, and Turkey.

If Giannis Antetokounmpo plays for Greece, that will be the toughest competition for Canada. There’s no guarantee that he’ll play though, given the Milwaukee Bucks are favoured to go on a long playoff run.

Rob WilliamsRob Williams

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