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Cory Joseph: Rise To Success

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The 2013 FIBA Americas provided such promise for a young inexperienced Canadian squad to do the unthinkable but that quickly took a turn for the worst. Despite Canada being disqualified at the tournament in Caracas Venezuela a star emerged.

Twenty-two year old Cory Joseph rose to the challenge and matured before our very eyes. His on court demeanor is exemplified with his proven toughness and willingness to win as he left it all out on the court. When Canada’s hopes were hanging by the valiance it was do or die as they squared off against Argentina. Who was there to aid a team at its wits end? None other than the second year San Antonio Spurs guard, who exceeded all expectations finishing with 19 points, four rebounds and two assists despite the heart breaking defeat. He was resilient as he fought and clawed his way through the heart of Argentina’s defense. The 6’3” point guard never gave up on a play; it might explain why he led Team Canada on the scoresheet with 16.1 points (56% FG), 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in seven games.

Nothing was ever handed to the rising Canadian star. He worked for everything, which is why there was never a dull moment inside the Joseph residence in Pickering, ON, the Toronto suburb where he grew-up. “It was serious competition for everything. Who dominated? I would say me. My mom, dad, brother would say otherwise.”         Joseph grew up in an environment where playing the game of basketball was all he knew. Being well versed in the game became sort of like family tradition. “My dad played, my mom played and from a young age I played for the Scarborough Blues then I played for Pickering High and grew into the game of basketball.”

This home grown talent became an instant sensation at Pickering High School, leading the team to two Ontario championships and making himself a household name within his community. But for Cory’s final two years of high school he decided to make one of the biggest decisions of his life as he packed his bags for Vegas to play at one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country, Findlay Prep.
“It was the transition that I made to gain more exposure” he said. I went for a visit to the school to figure out the program.” At the beginning he thought, “It was kind of risky. A young kid going out there with no friends and family far away, may not do well.” But the sceptic of it all inevitably made Cory stronger. He stopped listening to the naysayers and fixated himself on perfecting his craft, playing with a chip on his shoulders to prove any doubters wrong.

It was a risk that paid dividends as he excelled and propelled his game to the next level. In his first year at Findlay Prep, Cory joined forces with Brampton native Tristan Thompson where they instantly became brothers on their way to the 2010 National High School Invitational Championship. There was no sense of homesickness for this youngster, as he felt right at home with his new teammates.             “My other teammates made me feel welcome,” he said “We became a family on and off the court.”

Joseph was a highly touted guard in his final year with Findlay. He garnered plenty of attention from college scouts. The success he had as a McDonald’s All-American, made him a fan favourite after he won the 3-point contest. His stock then rose as he was ranked #7th by rivals.com in their 2010 recruiting class. Joseph credits Findlay Prep for preparing him for what was ahead.

“I feel like it went well,” he said “they prepare you for college. Everything you do and see prepares you for the next level. It was great, high intensity basketball. In the classroom it was great for me.“ From high school came the transition to college where he and Thompson decided to take their talents to the University of Texas. It was a comforting feeling for Cory to come to the arena and have his name heard on the PA system. In 36 games as a starter Cory averaged 10.4 points per game but prided himself on improving his defense.

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Joseph took a huge leap of faith in opting to enter the 2011 NBA Draft. And with the 29th pick the San Antonio Spurs saw what we Canadians had seen in a point guard with so much promise. “The transition from College to the NBA was a little slow for me. I had to get used to the game especially as a point guard and the system that we run. But by the time I got drafted to now I feel like I made huge improvements. I feel like I can keep on playing and playing hard.”

As soon as Joseph came to the Spurs, coach Gregg Popovich suggested he be sent down to the NBA Development League to gain experience. Dawning the Austin Toros jersey was not something he thought twice about.
Just this past year Cory was called to be a backup to Tony Parker but unfortunately wasn’t getting the playing time one might like.  He professed to coach Popovich he wanted to gain experience back in the D-League. That drove him to excelling in the 2013 NBA Finals – a moment all Canadians should be proud of.

“I just felt like at the time I talked to coach Pop I wasn’t getting an opportunity to play at that moment,” said Joseph. I said I rather be playing 5-on-5 as a point guard. It is better. Drills only do so much. I went down there.”

The NBA Finals made Cory Joseph into a true defensive minded floor general whose long range shooting molded him into a professional in crucial game situations.

“It was great and all the emotions you can think of were in the finals, happy and sad,” said Joseph. “Overall great experience I don’t regret anything. Ball didn’t fall our way. For me I was able to capitalize.“
Not only did he capitalize on his success from this previous 2012-13 NBA season but he also became a prominent figure within Canada’s basketball community. At a press conference held this past June, Steve Nash alluded to this being the “Golden” age of Canadian basketball. The question was posed to the young Spurs guard.

“I think it means to me that we have an incredible opportunity here with Canada basketball and we can’t take it lightly. We have very very very talented players. Everyone is doing well individually. As we come together as a team we can do great things and win.”

The young core gave it their all, facing some fierce competition. As much as the Americas tournament was a learning experience for the team it was also an eye opening experience for the guys getting themselves acclimated to the international style of play.

“It’s going to be fun said Joseph. We are a young team. We have lots of energy and we play hard. As long as we play hard and compete we will be fine.”

Cory became one of the lone bright spots for Canada, showcasing how much of an asset he is to the squad. From diving on the floor for loose balls to a developing repertoire to his game, the long range jumper.
Head coach Jay Triano’s motto coming to training camp has been “Strive to be great.” Cory has bought into the motto but stresses they are far from reaching it. “There are a lot of things we have to do to be considered great as a team, he said. If we get to a point where people are calling us great we can still improve.”

Look for this coachable point guard to build on his successes this past summer. He has some secrets to his arsenal that are just waiting to be revealed. Sky’s the limit for a man who’s not only embarking on a long journey in the NBA but also as gloried figure in Canadian basketball.

FIBA

Young Canadian squad shapes FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

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Xavier Rathan Mayes Canada Vs Argentina

For the past twenty-plus (20) years starving Canadian basketball fans across the country have asked for more International sanctioned games on home soil.

Finally, it looks like those requests are materializing.

With the upcoming kick-off to the newly formatted road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the 2019 Americas Qualifiers taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia will satisfy and quench the thirst of long-time East coast supporters of the National game.

A young, 25th-ranked Canadian squad will take on 59th ranked Bahamas, in a important Group D qualify game at the Scotiabank Centre.

Led by former number one pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Anthony Bennett (Northern Arizona, G-League), the roster features a strong young crop of former Usports All-Canadians and NCAA Division I standouts. Additionally, a further testimony to the growth of Canadian University Basketball, Ryerson Rams head coach Roy Rana, headlines the coaching staff alongside Carleton Ravens coach Dave Smart.

Point guard duties will be handled by Olivier Hanlan, Phil Scrubb and Kaza Kajami-Keane. The latter two having won multiple Usports basketball championships under the tutelage of Smart. Three-point specialist Brady Heslip and along side confident Xavier Rathan-Mayes will look to fill it up for the outside. The front court will anchored by 6’8″ Anthony Bennett, Thomas Scrubb, (another Ravens All-Canadian) and former Acadia Axemen 6’10” Owen Klassen (Kingston, ON).

Overall the roster looks solid, given the lack of availability of Canada’s top talent due to changes in the qualifying format, and the NBA’s willingness to move aside and grant FIBA the release of its players, regardless of nationality for the World Cup qualifying periods.

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Placed in Group D alongside Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Dominican Republic. The young Canadians will play a home and away series against each team. After the Bahamas game, Canada will fly out to the Dominican Republic for a stern road test on November 28, 2017 to wrap up the opening qualifying window.  The second qualifier will take in late February with Canada once again hitting the road for games against the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. The third qualifying window will see Canada host two more games on home soil on June 29 and July 2, 2018.

Canada is coming off a mediocre performance at the FIBA Americup dropping games to Virgin Islands 83-71, Argentina 92-86 with its only win against a tough Venezuela 75-66 team that denied the Canadians an Olympics appearance in Rio 2016.

Joel Anthony

Centre

6’9″

Montreal, QCFree Agent
Anthony Bennett

Forward

6’8″

Toronto, ONNorthern Arizona Suns (G-League)
Grandy Glaze

Centre

6’7″

Toronto, ONSt. John’s Edge (NBL Canada)
Olivier Hanlan

Guard

6’4″

Aylmer, QCAustin Spurs (G-League)
Brady Heslip

Guard

6’2″

Burlington, ONTrabzonspor (Turkey)
Kaza Kajami-Keane

Guard

6’1″

Ajax, ONRaptors 905 (G-League)
Owen Klassen

Centre

6’10”

Kingston, ONPAOK (Greece)
Dyshawn Pierre

Forward

6’6″

Whitby, ONBanco di Srd (Italy)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Guard

6’4″

Scarborough, ONWestchester Knicks (G-League)
Phil Scrubb

Guard

6’3″

Richmond, B.C.Fraport SKY (Germany)
Thomas Scrubb

Forward

6’6″

Richmond, B.C.Scandone AV (Italy)
Marc Trasolini

Centre

6’9″

Vancouver, B.C.Hokkaido L. (Japan)
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FIBA

Canadian Rowan Barrett Jr. Insane 38 points versus USA

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Canadian Rowan Barrett Jr. 38 Points Versus USA

Canadian Guard Rowan Barrett Jr. goes off for an insane 38 points versus USA at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo Egypt. Canada stunned the USA 99-87 to advance to Gold Medal game.

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FIBA

Angola’s Silvio de Sousa beastly 27 points, 21 rebounds against Korea

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Angola Silvio Sousa Dominates Korea 2017 FIBA U 19 World Cup
Photo: FIBA

Angola’s 18-year old Silvio de Sousa (6’9″, 240lbs) power forward is one of the rising stars of Angolan and African Basketball.

In his last FIBA U19 game in Cairo, De Sousa beasted Korea with 27 points and 21 rebounds as Angola closed-out the 2017 World Cup with a 55-53 win.

De Sousa, a bruising forward is the best polished Angolan Basketball player ever at this age and averaged a double-double at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Egypt, Cairo with 17.3 points per game (3rd), 13.1 rebounds (1st), 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals.

The 2018 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) four star recruit holds NCAA Basketball Division I offers from Florida, Louisville, Maryland, LSU and many others and currently represents Angola’s best chance at a future first round and potential NBA pick.

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