Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Canadian National Team to Tour Europe; Awaiting Word on Wiggins, Ennis
The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team will travel to Europe this summer for a series of 11 exhibition games, but it remains unclear if rising Canadian stars Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis or Nik Stauskas will young the team.
All three are projected first-round picks in the June 26 NBA Draft, with Wiggins projected as a top-three pick, and they could be busy with their new NBA teams during the European tour which runs July 24-Aug. 12.
“We are waiting so that we can build a relationship with the team that drafts these players and make sure that we are doing what is best for everyone involved,” Canadian coach Jay Triano told SNY.tv.
Outside of the players who will be drafted, Canada has a nice pool of current NBA players, including Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in 2013, Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson and Kelly Olynyk. Triano declined to say which players had committed.
Triano previously said he expects Wiggins and Ennis to compete in Olympic qualifying in 2015 when they will have completed their rookie seasons in the NBA.
With all of its young talent, the big payoff with this group might not come until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“The future’s going to be great,” Triano said in February. “But it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to happen at the next Olympics, it might be the following Olympics.”
As part of the tour this summer, Canada will play against Spain, Turkey, Serbia, Slovenia and Angola ranked #2, 7, 11, 13 and 15 respectively.
Triano will bring the team together for three-day training session from July 20-22 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Following the camp, the Canadians will embark on the European tour. They are playing these games after failing to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
“I’m looking forward to getting the team together for what will be a summer of development and growth,” Triano said. “Getting more international experience will be key – we want to provide our players with quality in-game experience against some of the world’s top talent.”
“This summer is an important step in the development of the SMNT for its goal of reaching Rio 2016.”
The camp roster will be announced mid-July.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.