Canada reveals 12-man roster for Olympic Qualifiers
Olympics

Canada reveals 12-man roster for Olympic Qualifiers

The Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team has named its full roster for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver.

One team to move on in six-team competition

On Tuesday, June 29th, The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team will begin its quest to qualify for a spot in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. The six-team tournament will take place in Victoria, BC and will conclude on Sunday, July 4th. Canada must finish first in the competition to earn a spot at the Olympics, in a draw featuring Greece, China, Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey.

The roster

Canada’s 12-man official roster will feature eight current NBAers: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans), RJ Barrett (New York Knicks), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Cory Joseph (Detroit Pistons), Trey Lyles (San Antonio Spurs), Mychal Mulder (Golden State Warriors), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks) and Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors). 2013 NBA first overall pick Anthony Bennett and former Orlando Magic big man Andrew Nicholson will also join the team, along with Trae Bell-Haynes and Aaron Doornekamp who play professionally overseas. 

The group will be led by head coach Nick Nurse along with assistants Nate Bjorkgren, Jon Goodwillie, Gordie Herbert, Michael Meeks and Nate Mitchell.

Tournament format and schedule

Placed in group A with China and Greece, Canada will play the first of its two seeding games on Tuesday at 7:05 pm ET against Greece. They will then meet with China at the same time on Wednesday, and finally China will take on Greece on Thursday. Following three seeding games in each group, the respective top teams from each side will take on the second-placed teams from the opposite group on Saturday. The winners of those games will battle for a ticket to Japan in Sunday’s tournament final.

More than 20 years have passed since Canada’s last Olympic qualification

Canada has failed to qualify for the previous four Olympic Games, with their last appearance coming in the year 2000. They came up just short in 2016, losing a 79-78 heartbreaker to Venezuala that would have sent them to the Rio Olympics, against a team they had defeated handily earlier in the Mexico City-based tournament. Canada then lost to France in the Philippines, failing to capitalize on a second chance to qualify for the 2016 games. 

With those crushing losses fresh in their memory, the re-tooled Canadian roster seeks redemption on home soil.