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Lakers Look To Bring Yi Jianlian Back To The NBA After Olympics

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He made his name again in Rio and now Yi Jianlian looks like he’s heading to the California sun.

China may have struggled in these group stages of the 2016 Olympic Games, being knocked out before the quarters (we all remember their opening game blowout against Team USA by 57 points. The biggest margin the U.S have won by since it was all a Dream Team in 1992), but they still showed flashes of brilliance. Especially when it came to the Peoples Republic’s biggest star.

Retired legend Yao Ming may have carried the flag for his country, leading the nation into Brazil’s Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony, but it was Yi Jianlian who wore the jersey, carrying even the whole Asian continent into contest (aside from the Japanese woman’s team that also represented the Far East).

Yi who followed Yao Ming’s dynasty and legacy into the league averaged 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in Rio despite China going winless in its tournament time. His hustle for a bucket and improved athleticism were undeniable. As were his stats in the Chinese league last year. As the 28 year old still in his prime averaged 27.7 points and 10.9 rebounds for the Guangdong Southern Tigers on a 57.5 clip from the field.

The Power Forward was drafted with the 6th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and looks to be now showing that Top Ten worth. Despite impressing for the deers as well as the Mavericks, Wizards and Nets during his half decade tenure in the National Basketball Association that also saw some time with the Texas Legends of the NBA’s Development League.

But now Jianlian looks to be called up again from the same Tiger team he returned to after making his professional playing debut for when he was just 14 years of age. And it looks like the post Kobe young gun Lakers are the team to give him a shot to the tune of a nice $8 million contract. Making for quite the Olympic payday.

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The 4 time CBA champion looks to make his NBA comeback permanent after an impressive display in the Rio Olympics. The 7 footer looks to bolster a bench of veterans for the Lakers who are banking their young future on the live or die in L.A. death line-up of former rookies and sophomores Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., D’Angelo Russell and this Summers new number two draft pick rookie Brandon Ingram. Forget a Golden State Fantastic Four of big free agent Kevin Durant, MVP Steph Curry and Olympians Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. These kids could be California Warriors too. And Yi isn’t the only purple player to have a gold Summer in Rio. And we aren’t talking about the aforementioned stars of the future who helped train and test the Olympic roster in what everyone thought would be just another tune-up.

Host nation Brazil’s Marcelo Huertas showed how just a great Point Guard he was and is (and this is the Lakers fourth string P.G.?! No wonder the Lakers re-signed him this Summer. They saw what was to come.), dishing off to the NBA likes of Nene and Leandro Barbosa. As Brazil may have not made it through to the second round, but they sure passed the bar that the Olympic competition set. Even upsetting Spain and new teammate Jose Calderon in a Lakers backups match-up. Put Yi with these two Points, new Cav champ signing Timofey Mozgov and British ambassador of the 2012 London Olympics Luol Deng and you have one deep bench that could star over the kids for those times when only vets can get it done.

Following in the sneaker steps of fellow Chinese countryman and former Laker draftee Sun Yue, the man once dubbed “the next Yao Ming” last played in the NBA in the year of the last Olympics.

Time to go forth.

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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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