Canada Basketball has announced the 12-man roster for two FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas qualifying games in St. John’s, N.L., later this month.
Former NBA veteran Joel Anthony and G League standout Brady Heslip headline a team mainly made up of Canadians playing professionally in Europe.
“Honoured that our group continues to make an incredible sacrifice to represent our country in international competition,” said Roy Rana, head coach for Team Canada, in a statement.
“The windows group of athletes has been the backbone and foundation of our qualification into the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. I hope we celebrate and show our appreciation for them in St. John’s.”
Canada has already secured a spot in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, through a series of qualifying games that began in 2017.
The games in St. John’s against Chile and Venezuela are the last in a series of six “windows” of qualifiers for teams in the Americas region.
Venezuela is first among six teams in FIBA Americas Group F with a 9-1 record in the qualifying tournament. Canada is in second place (8-2) and Chile is fifth (2-8).
Seven teams from the Americas region will play at the 2019 World Cup, which serves as FIBA’s premier event and a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The seven best teams classified at the 2019 World Cup (one each from Africa, Asia and Oceania and two apiece from the Americas and Europe) will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
As the host nation, Japan has an automatic bid.
The 16 best remaining teams from the FIBA World Cup (plus two additional teams from each region) will be entered into four additional Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Winners of those four tournaments will also secure a spot in the Olympics.
Canada’s men’s team has not played in the Olympic Games since 2000 in Sydney, led by Hall of Famer Steve Nash.
The country’s only Olympic medal is a silver from 1936 Games.
Canada lost 19-8 to the United States in the gold medal game on a rain-soaked outdoor court that turned to mud, making it difficult to dribble.
Women’s Olympic basketball debuted at the 1976 Games in Montreal. Canada’s best showing since then was a fourth-place finish in 1984 at Los Angeles.
Here is Canada’s full roster for the final window of the FIBA Americas qualifiers.
|Name||Position||Height||Hometown||Last / Current Club|
|Joel Anthony||Centre||6’10”||Montreal, QC||San Lorenzo Basket (Argentina)|
|Aaron Best||Guard||6’4″||Scarborough, ON||Riesen Ludwigsburg (Germany)|
|Melvin Ejim||Forward||6’7”||Toronto, ON||Unics Kazan (Russia)|
|Brady Heslip||Guard||6’2″||Burlington, ON||Istanbul BBSK (Turkey)|
|Kaza Kajami-Keane||Guard||6’2″||Ajax, ON||Landstede Zwolle (Netherlands)|
|Kyle Landry||Centre||6’10”||Calgary, AB||Buducnost (Montenegro)|
|Conor Morgan||Forward||6’9”||Victoria, BC||Divina Seguros Joventut (Spain)|
|Mychal Mulder||Guard||6’4″||Windsor, ON||Windy City Bulls (G League)|
|Adika Peter-McNeilly||Guard||6’3”||Toronto, ON||Mitteldeutscher BC (Germany)|
|Phil Scrubb||Guard||6’4”||Richmond, BC||Zenit Saint Petersburg (Russia)|
|Thomas Scrubb||Forward||6’7”||Richmond, BC||Openjobmetis Varese (Italy)|
|Kyle Wiltjer||Forward||6’10”||Portland, OR||Unicaja Malaga (Spain)|
Canada vs. USA focal point of loaded Pre-FIBA World Cup series
Canada’s senior’s men’s basketball team will take on the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria in a loaded preseason FIBA World Cup schedule.
For many years Canadian’s have been waiting for the day that Canada’s golden basketball generation faced off against the mighty USA Dream Team.
Well, wait no longer, and bookmark Monday, August 26, 2019 your calendar.
Part of a five-game per-world cup series in Australia — Team Canada will wrap it’s six-game FIBA World Cup exhibition schedule with a much anticipated match-up against American’s.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to compete and gain familiarity against some of the top teams in the world in preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019,” said Rowan Barrett, Canada Basketball General Manager, Men’s High Performance. “The USA has been the gold standard in FIBA basketball for several years so this will be a great opportunity for our program. In addition, having the chance to play tough road games against Australia and New Zealand will be a valuable experience for our team on the road to the World Cup.”
Canada’s Senior Men’s National team (SMNT) will kick-off it’s pre-world cup festivities on home-soil, on Friday, August 9, 2019 against a rising Nigerian D’ Tigers (10-2, 1st place African Qualifiers) national side in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
From there it’s off to foreign territory as the Canadians get acquainted with the Australia Boomers — a 2019 FIBA World Cup Group of death foe and commonwealth member in a two-game series in Perth on August 16th and 17th.
Previously known for the their alternative nickname — “The Road Warriors” — for their lack of international FIBA home games — Team Canada will shift their attention to a familiar foe with a two-game series against the New Zealand Tall Blacks.
According to the FIBA World Cup draw and if everything works out as planed Canada vs. USA could also become a reality in a potential heavyweight quarter-finals match-up.
With World Cup medal aspirations on the line and a 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics bid up for grabs, Canada will look to field a studded 12-men roster not only capable of fulling the federations 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse but eventually reminding our border neighbors and media pundits that “soft and basketball” will no longer be acceptable in the basketball sentence.
Not exactly considered the cream-of the crop international tournaments — Canada’s senior’s men’s basketball team last knocked-off the United States of America 111-108 at the 2015 Pan-Am games in Toronto.
A 2005 FIBA Americas Group A win — culminated by a dominated 28 point, 9-rebound performance from Denham Brown lifted Canada 92-76 past the USA on August, 25, in San Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Canada knocked off the Americans 85-77 in the semi-finals of 1983 Summer Universiade games in Edmonton — beating a star-studded USA (Karl Malone, Charles Barkley) team in the semi-finals.
Team Canada FIBA World Cup international exhibition series
- Canada Basketball vs. Nigeria D’ Tigers – August, 9th 2019 – MTS Place
- Canada Basketball vs. Australia Boomers – August 16, 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth
- Canada Basketball vs. Australia Boomers – August 17, 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth
- Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – August 20, 2019, Quaycentre, Sydney
- Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – August 21, 2019, Quaycentre, Sydney
- Canada Basketball vs. USA Basketball – August 26, 2019, Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Triano steps aside as Canadian national team coach
Jay Triano has officially stepped down as the head coach of Canada’s senior men’s national team.
Canada Basketball made the announcement this morning, confirming media reports that circulated on Sunday.
“I can’t thank Jay enough for all he has done for basketball in Canada,” said Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball, in a statement.
“As both a coach and player, Jay is a Canadian icon and has played a major role in the development of basketball within our country and we will forever be grateful for his contributions.
“After speaking with Jay, I’m hopeful we can find a role where he can continue to contribute to Canada Basketball in the future.”
Triano is the first Canadian-born and Canadian-trained coach to work in the NBA, starting as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors in 2002 and later promoted to head coach.
He is currently the lead assistant coach with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
As head coach of Canada’s national team from 1998 to 2004, Triano led the team to a seventh-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.
Canada has not returned to the Olympics since then, but it figures to be a contender to play at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Triano returned as head coach in 2012, guiding the club to a pair of victories during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.
As a player, Triano served with Canada’s national team from 1977 to 1988 and was team captain for the final seven years of his tenure.
He was elected to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Ryerson University head coach Roy Rana is among three other candidates being granted interviews to replace Triano, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.
The other candidates are Gord Herbert, who played for Canada at the 1984 Olympics; and Ettore Messina, an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.
A final decision is expected by March 31.
Multiple reports say Triano cited “personal reasons” for taking his name out of the running, but he did not elaborate.
Team Canada’s next major test will be the 2019 FIBA World Cup, starting Aug. 31 in China.
Triano steps aside at a high point in Canadian basketball, with dozens of players in the NBA and at elite NCAA schools, including Barrett’s son R.J. Barrett, a Duke University standout who is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.