Murray, Wiltjer, Bennett Headline Canada Training Camp Roster For Pan Am Games; Wiggins, Other NBA Players In For Olympic Qualifying | Zagsblog
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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.
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Friday / June 21.
  • Murray, Wiltjer, Bennett Headline Canada Training Camp Roster For Pan Am Games; Wiggins, Other NBA Players In For Olympic Qualifying

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    Jamal Murray action 2By JOSH NEWMAN

    With the Pan American Games being held in Toronto later this month, plus next month’s FIBA Americas Championship deciding who goes to the 2016 Rio Olympics, this is a crucial summer for the Canadian National Team.

    There was hope that the country’s biggest names like Andrew Wiggins and Tristan Thompson would opt to play at Pan Am, but that will not be the case.

    Highlighted by Kentucky freshman point guard sensation Jamal Murray, Gonzaga senior standout Kyle Wiltjer and 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, Canada released its training camp roster for the Pan Am Games on Friday morning.

    “We’ve got a great mix of veteran players and some young players that are going to get introduced to the senior national team,” Canada head coach Jay Triano, who is also a Trail Blazers assistant, said on a conference call after the roster was announced. “It’ll be great to have some of our veteran players play in their own city and own country, some of our younger players be introduced to the senior national team by playing in Canada.”

    The athletes will participate in a six-day try-out from July 12-17 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The final 12-man roster will be set before July 18. Training camp will continue at Air Canada up until the Canadians open play in Group B on July 21 vs. Argentina at Ryerson Athletic Centre in Toronto.

    The United States announced its training camp roster on Monday. That 22-player pool will be cut to 12 with training camp running from Tuesday through July 12. The United States will continue training camp July 13-16 in Chicago before opening play in Group B on July 21 vs. Venezuela.

    Triano was quick to note that Canadian-born NBA players like Wiggins, Thompson, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk and Nik Stauskas will be available for the FIBA Americas Championship next month in Mexico. The top two teams in the 10-team event qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

    “We’ve got NBA players like Cory Joseph and Tristian Thompson, they’re still working on contracts,” Triano said. “Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Olynyk, whose teams have asked that we take care of them this summer. Participating in both events was not something we thought was going to be a good idea on both ends, so those players will be available later on in the summer.”

    Thompson had reportedly agreed to a 5-year, $80 million extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but new reports surfacing on Thursday said the two sides had not come to an agreement. Joseph is a restricted free agent this summer and has had a qualifying offer extended to him by his current team, the San Antonio Spurs. New contracts cannot be signed until the free agency moratorium is lifted on Thursday.

    Triano confirmed it Friday, but Wiggins already said he will play for the national team this summer. The 2015 Rookie of the Year’sĀ involvement with his national team is significant in that it gives it automatic credibility with a major world-level event looming in the 2016 Olympics.

    Canada has little positive basketball national team history to speak of. The Steve Nash-led 2000 team was the last to qualify for an Olympics, while it has never finished better than sixth at the World Championships dating back to 1950.

    Canadian National Team Pan-American Games Training Camp Roster

    Anderson, Jermaine PG 6’2 Scarborough, ON TBB Trier (Germany)
    Ashaolu, Olu PF 6’7 Brampton, ON Hamamatsu Phoenix (Japan)
    Bennett, Anthony PF 6’8 Toronto, ON Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)
    Bhullar, Sim C 7’5 Etobicoke, ON Sacramento Kings (NBA)
    Brooks, Dillon SF 6’7 Mississauga, ON University of Oregon (NCAA)
    Cadougan, Junior PG 6′ Toronto, ON Sidigas AV (Italy)
    Doornekamp, Aaron SF 6’7 Odessa, ON Fraport Sky (Germany)
    Ejim, Melvin SF 6’6 Toronto, ON Bayreuth (Germany)
    English, Carl SG 6’5 Paradise, NF AEK Athens (Greece)
    Joseph, Devoe SG 6’4 Pickering, ON Cholet (France)
    Mullings, Daniel SG 6’2 Scarborough, ON Bayreuth (Germany)
    Murray, Jamal PG 6’5 Kitchener, ON Orangeville Prep (High School)
    Nicholson, Andrew PF 6’9 Etobicoke, ON Orlando Magic (NBA)
    Pierre, Dyshawn PF 6’7 Whitby, ON University of Dayton (NCAA)
    Scrubb, Thomas PF 6’5 Richmond, BC Carleton University (CIS)
    Wiltjer, Kyle SF 6’10 Portland, OR (USA) Gonzaga University (NCAA)
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