After losing the qualifying battle for the Tokyo Olympics, team Canada are looking forward to the challenge of this year’s FIBA World Cup with a stellar side.
Canada welcome in new head coach Jordi Fernandez, who will be leading one of the best squads to ever take the floor for the country.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray headline a strong backcourt and add R.J. Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Lu Dort and Kelly Olynyk to the mix and you’ve got a very deep and competitive side.
“We’re for sure talented enough,” Gilgeous-Alexander said this week at the team’s training camp. “It’s just about us coming together, playing as a team, building camaraderie on and off the court. We’ll be fine.”
The Canada men’s national team haven’t appeared in an Olympic games since 2000 and unfortunately, were missing key players in the elimination qualifier to the Czech Republic a few summers ago.
But this year, they have a solid squad with one of the most exciting backcourts in the entire tournament and big man Olynyk wants to make sure history doesn’t repeat.
“Especially watching from a distance, knowing that you can’t be there and probably help change the narrative in some way and help in some way,” Olynyk said. “It’s tough to sit back and watch it end that way and obviously you don’t want it to happen again.”
In order to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Canada will need to be in the top two finishers from the Americas in the FIBA tournament.
Their Group stage is tough and includes France, Latvia and Lebanon – they will need to finish in the top two here to advance to the second round.
The current reigning champions are Spain, since they defeated Argentina in the final of the 2019 tournament.
FIBA Basketball World Cup will begin on August 25 and will take place in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.
Group Play Schedule
Aug. 25: Canada vs. France (9:30 a.m. ET)
Aug. 27: Canada vs. Lebanon (5:45 a.m. ET)
Aug 29: Canada vs. Latvia (9:30 a.m. ET)