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Shai, Murray and Wiggins headline Canadian Paris 2024 Olympics training camp roster

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, and Andrew Wiggins headline Canada’s loaded 20-man training camp roster for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Shai gilgeous alexander jamal murray and andrew wiggins headline canadian basketball paris 2024 training camp roster
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray and Andrew Wiggins headline Canada's Paris 2024 Olympics training camp roster. - Illustrations: Edilson J. Silva

Canada Basketball has unveiled a star-studded training camp roster in preparation for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. The 20-man invite list boasts a potent mix of experience and rising talent, with a clear goal of medaling on the biggest international stage.

Leading the charge are NBA standouts Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, and Andrew Wiggins. Gilgeous-Alexander, fresh off an MVP runner-up season, joins champions Murray and Wiggins in heading the long anticipated training camp.

The trio highlights Canada’s three best NBA players of this generation as they aim to earn their first Olympic medal since reaching the podium at the inaugural summer olympic games in 1936.

This group reunites the core of Canada’s impressive bronze medal run at last year’s World Cup. All 12 players from that squad, including RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Luguentz Dort, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, will be present at training camp.

They will be joined by exciting additions of Murray, Wiggins, Andrew Nembhard, Trey Lyles, recently crowned champion Oshae Brissett, and Mfiondu Kabengele.

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12 NBA players and 367 international caps

Canadians nickeil alexander walker shai gilgeous alexander rj barrett celebrate following canada bronze medal at the 2023 fiba world cup
Victorious Team Canada, celebrates following their win over the United States to claim the Bronze medal at the 2023 FIBA World Cup in Manilla. – Photo: FIBA

The depth of Canadian basketball talent is undeniable. Boasting 12 NBA players among the 20 invitees, this camp showcases the strength of the national program.

The well-rounded training camp invite list features an experienced group with 367 caps, led by Philip Scrubb’s 59 games in a red and white uniform, showcasing a wealth of FIBA experience.

The roster also presents a well-balanced age distribution, with multiple players in the prime of their careers. The youngest player is the towering 22-year-old center Zach Edey from Purdue, while the oldest is veteran forward Melvin Ejim at 33 years old.

Further highlighting the strength of the roster, 14 players on the training camp invite list were previously drafted into the NBA, with all but the Scrubb brothers having played NCAA basketball, underscoring the strong pipeline Canada has built.

Bennedict Mathurin and Shaedon Sharpe: Building for the Future

Canadian guard bennedict mathurin throws down big two hand dunk against the usa at 2021 fiba u19 world cup in riga latvia
Canadian guard Bennedict Mathurin throws down big two hand dunk against the United States at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup in Riga, Latvia – Photo: FIBA

While not officially competing for spots, top rising prospects Shaedon Sharpe and Bennedict Mathurin will also be in camp, gaining valuable experience alongside seasoned veterans and integrating into the program for the 2027 World Cup and 2028 Olympics cycle.

Mathurin is currently recovering from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which forced him to miss his first NBA playoffs experience. Sharpe also missed considerable time during his second season and underwent corrective surgery to address a core muscle injury.

“They’re coming in to learn and grow,” mentioned Canadian senior men’s national team general manager Rowan Barrett during the press conference. “We believe they can do some great things with Canada down the line.”

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Shifting the Guard: No Cory Joseph and Kevin Pangos

Canadian guard cory joseph looks on at the 2019 fiba world cup qualifiers against the dominican republic at ricoh coliseum in toronto
Canadian veteran guard Cory Joseph looks on at the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers against the Dominican Republic at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto – Photo: FIBA

Notably absent from the training camp list are Cory Joseph and Kevin Pangos, both part of the core 14 players who committed to the mandatory three-year cycle back in 2021. Joseph, a major catalyst over the years, has racked up 50 caps in the senior men’s uniform and played 17 games in national youth competitions dating back to 2007.

The strong play of Indiana Pacer Andrew Nembhard, who is likely to secure the third point guard spot behind Gilgeous-Alexander and Murray, forced Canada Basketball to go with a younger group at certain positions.

“They’ve given quite a lot to the country… I’ve known Cory since he was just above my knee. There’s a tremendous amount of love there. But we are putting together the strongest possible roster in the areas we feel we need,” continued Barrett.

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No guaranteed spots despite NBA status

Rowan barrett canadian senior mens national team general manager 2024 training camp press conference
Rowan Barrett Sr., the Canadian senior men’s national general manager addresses the media during the 2024 Paris Olympics training camp – Photo: Esfandiar Baraheni

However, he emphasized that earning a spot is no guarantee, even with the NBA talent. “Whoever comes in will have to try out for this team, Jordi [Fernandez, Head Coach] has been very, very clear on that. We’re not going to be giving any spots away, no matter how big the name,” said Barrett.

This reinforces the message that despite the presence of established NBA players, competition for roster spots will be fierce.

Fernandez, who recently accepted the head coach position with the Brooklyn Nets, is looking to build on his international success, following a 9-5 win-loss record in his first year with the Canadian national side.

The camp kicks off on June 28th in Toronto, running until July 7th at both the Goldring Centre and OVO Athletic Centre. This intense training period precedes a crucial exhibition tour, with Canada facing off against the USA in Las Vegas on July 10th.

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They’ll then head to France for a matchup on July 19th, followed by a final exhibition game on July 21st in Orléans, a city on the banks of the Loire River in north-central France, against the winner (Lithuania, Italy, Mexico, Ivory Coast, Bahrain) of the Puerto Rico qualifying tournament.

With camp opening next Friday, Canada gears up for a month of focused preparation before their Olympic campaign officially begins. This training camp roster is a clear statement of intent – Team Canada is hungry for gold in Paris.

Canadian Paris 2024 Olympics training camp roster

Canadian 2024 paris olympics training camp invite list
Canadian 2024 Paris Olympics training camp invite list – Illustrations – Edilson J. Silva
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