With the Canadians junior (U16) basketball team now set and ready to represent its country’s finest basketball talent in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. It is clear that Canadians are no longer getting overlooked for their basketball skills around the world. Having the two first picks in the last two NBA drafts (Anthony Bennett & Andrew Wiggins) it has definitely set the tone and confidence for the next generation of basketball players in Canada. This being the first time the U16 Canadian men’s represent Canada internationally, it is fair to say that so far they have handled themselves really well. Their first 3 games have been won in dominating fashion team Canada beat Venezuela 84-55, Mexico 101-64 and they clinched their way into the U17 2016 FIBA World Championship by beating the team who is hosting the tournament Argentina, 76-62 Thus far the U16 Canadian men’s basketball team has certainly proven to the World that young Canadians are sure enough one of the best basketball talents in the world!
Despite the U18/19 Canadians Men’s team getting blown out by USA (113-79) for the gold medal in 2014 FIBA Americas games. The team still made history by making it the best finish ever for a Canadian men’s team, making them qualify for this year’s U19 2015 FIBA World Cup in Heraklion, Greece. This team is full of future Division 1 talents who will attend top schools such as UNLV, Virginia Tech, Harvard, Oregon and so on. With these young men’s next step of getting recruited to a Division 1 school now in the books, the U19 Canadians will certainly play with less pressure, more maturity as five players return from last year’s team, like Dillon Brooks who led the tournament in scoring with 25.2 a game. They will bring that extra experience and leadership needed. Despite this year’s expectations being a little higher it is fair to say that the Canadians U19 men’s basketball team will be ready and equipped for another great run.
As for the Canadian Men’s basketball team getting ready to participate in the Pan-Am games and the FIBA Americas in Monterrey, Mexico this summer. They too have a lot of expectations coming in with the addition of the two last NBA first picks Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins and the improving Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk and others. Despite lacking international experience with many new players the roster is looking a lot more promising than it has in the past. They are all playing with a chip on their shoulder like Melvin Ejim former Iowa State player who despite having one of the school’s best individual season and earning a Big 12 Player of the Year honors did not get drafted in the 2014 NBA draft class. Also Anthony Bennett has not yet lived up to his expectations and Tristan Thompson who is looking for a higher contract that what he was previously given but rejected a 4 year 52 million dollar deal this past season. So it is fair to say that mostly all these Canadian players have something to prove and what better way to do it then by representing not only your name but your country!
Look out world! Canada is looking to take the world by storm this summer by proving to everyone that Canadians deserve respect when it comes to Basketball Talent!
Canada draws Group of Death 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup
Canada’s path to a 2019 FIBA basketball World Cup medal and hopes of a 2020 Olympic berth took a serious blow prior to the start of the games as No. 23 Team Canada was drawn into the group of death — alongside global powerhouses No. 6 Lithuania, No. 11 Australia, and No. 37 Senegal.
For Canada to have a shot at getting to the podium they will have to finish in the top two spots of Group H to advance to second round of the tournament — where the top 16 teams will be split into four new groups (Groups I, J, K, L). If it reaches that stage Team Canada will once again have to finish in the top two to advance to the quarter-finals.
Canada’s road to the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics is a complex and tough process — given FIBA’s decision to make the World Cup apart of the qualification process. Seven spots are currently up for grabs at FIBA’s flagship event and with hosts Japan earning an automatic entry the room for error is minuscule.
To reach the Olympics, Canada will have to finish as one of the top two teams from the seven team America’s region that features the world’s number one squad in the United States of America alongside traditional mainstays Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezula and Puerto Rico.
If Canada is unable to secure a spot as one of the two top America’s region teams, they will hope to be amongst the top 16 teams at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup where they will be granted automatic qualification to a last chance tournament taking place next summer at a yet to be determined locations. If unable to finish in the top 16, Canada’s last hope would be one of the last eight countries that FIBA would invite for one of the last-chance qualifier tournaments.
Therefore, if Canada has any hopes of qualifying for the 12-team 2020 Summer Olympics via the World Cup they will need to advance from Group H one as top two teams, failure to advance in the premilinary round will automatically put Canada’s hopes at the mercy FIBA via the invitation tournament only.
Should Canada reach the second-round they will be placed in the newly formed Group L, alongside Group G winner and runner-up — potentially setting up another group of death with No. 3 France, No. 11 Germany, No. 11 Australia or No. 6 Lithuania.
To make matters worse for the Canadians, they have been pooled on the same half of the draw as the United States — which would mean a potential quarter-finals match-up between the two neighbouring nations, if Canada can somehow get there.
If the Canadians can reach the quarter-finals there is a good chance they alongside the USA would be last two standing Americas teams — thus earning automatic berth to Tokyo 2020.
As evident, by the World Cup draw and given FIBA’s recent changes it’s clearly going to be a tough road for the Canadians to fullfill their 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse.
Canada opens up the World Cup against Australia on Saturday August 31st and will take on Lithuania on two days rest on Monday September 2nd beforing concluding Group H action against Senegal on Wednesday September 4th, 2019. All of Canada’s preliminary round games will be played in Dongguan, China
Kia Nurse wins Australian pro championship
Kia Nurse of Hamilton, Ont., finished second in MVP voting as she helped the University of Canberra to a WNBL Championship today in Australia.
Nurse, a six-foot guard, had 12 points and three assists in a 93-73 victory over the Adelaide Lightning in a series-clinching Game 3 at home in AIS Arena.
“Thank you … for giving me an opportunity to play with an amazing group of women,” Nurse said on Twitter after the win.
This was the latest in a series of high-profile achievements for the former University of Connecticut standout.
Nurse is coming off a solid rookie season in the WNBA, where she averaged 9.1 points per game with the New York Liberty.
New York finished out of the playoffs, and Nurse transitioned to the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) during the offseason.
Many WNBA players spend the offseason in other pro leagues, in part because salaries are low.
The average WNBA player makes less than $72,000 according to the Canadian Press.
Nurse had a larger role with Canberra, roughly averaging 18 points, five rebounds and two assists per game.
Canberra’s 2-1 series win over Adelaide gave the club its eighth WNBL title.
Nurse finished second to Canberra captain Kelsey Griffin in voting for the Rachael Sporn Grand Final MVP award, according to CP.
At 22, Nurse is arguably Canada’s best-known women’s player, thanks in part to her long-running involvement with Team Canada at international tournaments.
She led Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and a seventh-place finish at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Nurse also won two NCAA titles with UConn, where she was also American Athletic Conference (AAC) Freshman of the year in 2015.
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