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Will The Purple Heart Of Kobe Bryant Ride Off Into The Rio Sunset With Olympic Gold?

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After a carnival of a court career will Kobe Bryant run with Team USA in Brazil for a victory lap as an Olympian?

This looks to be the Black Mamba’s last year in purple and gold, but that doesn’t mean the Laker legend won’t spend his last Summer looking for more basketball gold in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Or “riding off into the sunset” with the Dream Team for a podium place as he reportedly told Jerry Colangelo for the perfect Madris Gras. But Kobe doesn’t want to take it easy with this celebration. It’s going to be all work for this play as Kobe wants to “earn his spot” like the true competitive professional he is.

But can you imagine him sitting on the end of the bench?

If he does he could accept another pivotal, albeit reduced role. Just like when this franchise, All-Star player went into the kennel of the 2012 Olympics as a defensive doberman for his dogs. This time he could go all Coach Kobe again like the times he’s been injured. As well as making the most of meagre but meaningful minutes, heating up like a microwave as a spark plug off the bench in more ways than one.

Still, lets not get ahead of ourselves. This is all so long as Kobe is healthy all 82 games plus season long for the Los Angeles Lakers. The legend has been injury riddled the past couple of campaigns and this year will bid to run away with the youngsters of this Laker team all the way to the promised land that has been a lie to them for around a half decade now. Will guards like sophomore Jordan Clarkson and number 2 pick D’Angelo Russell leave his ankles broke? Or will the seasoned legend slow the game down with the post of defensive veteran Roy Hibbert and the returning from season crippling injury Julius Randle. Either or with this Shooting Guard moving to the three or even the Power Forward position, all this burn will take it’s toll.

Must Read:  Lakers Pay Tribute To Another Legend Retiring This Season

Still here’s a guy that’s hinted that this could very well be his last Laker season, but not the one where he retires. Looking to travel the world and play in the European game he grew up with when his dad Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant played on that continent. Perhaps a return to Italy will ferment for Vino. But will this be via a stop over in South America?

We sure hope so, because Team America will be even more explosive with this generations Jordan, even if guys like Steph Curry, LeBron James and Harden can podium hop bronze and silver for gold all on their own. Still before the purple and gold of number 24 goes up to the rafters of Lakerland it would be fitting to see the top ten suit up in the stars and stripes jersey again. The Hall could always use another medal.

Time for Kobe to shine one last time and keep the flame burning alight. It’s all about the five rings!

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.

Must Read:  Lakers Pay Tribute To Another Legend Retiring This Season

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, QC Free Agent
Anthony Bennett

Forward

6’8″

Toronto, ON Northern Arizona Suns (G-League)
Grandy Glaze

Centre

6’7″

Toronto, ON St. John’s Edge (NBL Canada)
Olivier Hanlan

Guard

6’4″

Aylmer, QC Austin Spurs (G-League)
Brady Heslip

Guard

6’2″

Burlington, ON Trabzonspor (Turkey)
Kaza Kajami-Keane

Guard

6’1″

Ajax, ON Raptors 905 (G-League)
Owen Klassen

Centre

6’10”

Kingston, ON PAOK (Greece)
Dyshawn Pierre

Forward

6’6″

Whitby, ON Banco di Srd (Italy)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Guard

6’4″

Scarborough, ON Westchester 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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