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Canada men and women draw tough groups for Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Canadian men and women’s Olympic groups revealed for Paris 2024: Tough matchups await as they prepare for challenges ahead.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kayla Alexander look on as Canada's men and women national basketball teams draw tough groups for Paris 2024 Olympic Games
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kayla Alexander look on as Canada's men and women national basketball teams draw tough groups for Paris 2024 Olympic Games - Illustrations: Edilson J. Silva/BasketballBuzz.ca

As the excitement for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games continues to intensify, basketball fans worldwide are already caught up in the buzz surrounding the upcoming tournament.

With just 129 days remaining until the opening ceremony ignites the fervour of sporting excellence, today’s highly anticipated draw ceremony for the men’s and women’s Olympic basketball tournaments has only intensified the build-up for the games ahead.

In a ceremony held at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball, notable figures like Carmelo Anthony and Pennie Taylor joined basketball enthusiasts as they eagerly watched the paths of top teams being unveiled, setting the stage for an enthralling competition in the City of Light.

Expectations are high for record attendance numbers for both levels of the sport during the group phase in the picturesque city of Lille, adding to the thrill of welcoming the world’s best basketball stars to France.

FIBA Secretary General, Andres Zagklis, foresees basketball taking the spotlight as the premier “indoor ticketed event of Paris 2024“.

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All group games for both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be played at Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in Lille, which can accommodate up to 27,000 spectators.

Built in 2012, and home to the Lille Olympique Sporting Club (LOSC), it is equipped with a retractable roof, enabling it to switch from an open stadium to a closed facility in just 30 minutes.

Following the round-robin portion of the tournament, eight of the twelve teams will advance to the quarter-finals at Bercy Arena in Paris.

Both Canadian teams will need to finish in the top two in their respective groups, or hope to secure a spot in the final eight as two of the best third-placed teams in the group stage, in order to progress.

For Canada, a nation with a rich basketball tradition and growing passionate fan base, the draw held particular significance as both the Canadian men’s and women’s teams qualified for the Summer Olympics together for the first time since 2000.

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Paris 2024 Women’s Olympics draw: Canada in tough Group B

2024 paris womens olympic basketball tournament groups
2024 Paris women’s Olympic basketball tournament groups

The Canadian women’s basketball team, currently ranked fifth in the world and set to make their fourth consecutive Olympic appearance and eighth overall, is gearing up for a challenging journey at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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Placed in Group B, the host nation of the inaugural women’s Olympic tournament at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Canada will encounter formidable opponents, including basketball powerhouses such as familiar foe Australia (3), hosts France (7), and the up-and-coming team from Nigeria (12).

This group presents a daunting task for Canada as they aim to navigate through a mix of experienced teams and rising stars. Australia, known for its consistent presence at the top of international basketball, brings a blend of skill, athleticism, and tactical strength.

France, as the host nation, making their fifth appearance and fourth in a row, will enjoy the support of the home crowd, adding an extra layer of difficulty for Canada. Meanwhile, Nigeria, the reigning FIBA Women’s Afrobasket champions, with its recent surge in the world rankings and dynamic style of play, poses a fresh challenge that cannot be underestimated.

Their campaign will commence on July 29th against France at 11:15 AM Eastern Time, followed by a matchup against Australia on August 1st at 7:30 AM, before concluding the group phase against Nigeria on August 4th at 7:30 AM.

Despite the tough draw, the Canadian Women’s team, led by seasoned veterans Kia Nurse, Bridget Carleton, Natalie Anchowa, and Kayla Alexander, alongside emerging talents Aaliyah Edwards, Yvonne Ejim, and Laeticia Amihere, is ready.

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Paris 2024 men’s draw: Canada returns to the Olympic stage in Group A

2024 paris mens olympic basketball tournament groups
2024 Paris men’s Olympic basketball tournament groups

After a 24-year hiatus, the Canadian men’s basketball team is set to make a triumphant return to the Olympic stage.

Similarly, the Canadian men’s team, coming off a bronze medal at the 2023 FIBA World Cup and ranked seventh in the world, found themselves placed in Group A alongside the fifth-ranked Australia.

Joining them will be the winner of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Piraeus, Greece (which features Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, New Zealand), and the champion of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Valencia, Spain (which includes Spain, Angola, Lebanon, Finland, Poland, Bahamas).

The four last-chance Olympic Qualifying Tournaments are scheduled to run from July 2nd to July 7th, 2024. Moreover, the other two tournaments will take place in Riga, Latvia, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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Canada’s placement in Group A sets the stage for captivating matchups against formidable opponents. Australia, a perennial basketball powerhouse that advanced to the semi-finals in the previous two Olympic Games, presents a significant challenge with its blend of experience and NBA talent.

Additionally, the prospect of facing Greece and NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, potentially crossing paths with Luka Dončić and Slovenia once again, or encountering an improving Spanish side – which Canada defeated on their recent podium run – adds unpredictability and excitement to Canada’s Olympic journey.

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Regardless of their opponents, Canadian adversaries will also need to contend with the nation’s rising star power. Canada boasts a formidable core lineup of NBA players, including two-time All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Luguentz Dort, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kelly Olynyk.

Team Canada will kick off the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on July 27th against the winner of the Greece OQT at 3 PM Eastern Time. Following a two-day break, they will face Australia on July 30th at 7:30 AM before concluding the round-robin stage versus the champion of the Spain OQT on Friday, August 2nd at 11:15 AM.

Having uncovered their paths and potential opponents, and with the training camp scheduled to open towards the end of July in Toronto, both Canadian national teams and their respective coaching staffs will now focus on preparing for exhibition games and selecting the twelve men and women who will represent Canada at the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad.

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