R.J. Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray headline Canadian World Cup qualifying team | 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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Saturday / December 3.
  • R.J. Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray headline Canadian World Cup qualifying team

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    R.J. Barrett of the Knicks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Thunder and Jamal Murray of the Nuggets will headline the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team that will compete in the upcoming third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifier.

    Dillon Brooks of the Grizzlies, Lu Dort of the Thunder and Kelly Olynyk of the Pistons are also on the roster.

    Fourteen of the country’s top players from across the NBA, NCAA and international leagues have committed to representing Canada between now and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.  

    Each player has agreed to a three-year commitment with the Senior Men’s National Team.  This group of players is complementary to the winter core roster, who previously played for Canada during the opening two windows of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers in November and February. To further develop system consistency and cohesion, rosters for all upcoming Senior Men’s FIBA competitions will be composed of core players from both the summer and winter pools to ultimately give the program the best chance to qualify for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics.  Should a player be unavailable to play, their attendance at training camp is expected.

    “The true value of chemistry, camaraderie and continuity cannot be overlooked when building any team,” said Nick Nurse, Head Coach, Senior Men’s National Team.  “By assembling committed core groups of players and staff to represent Canada over the next several years, we firmly believe will position this program for sustained success, both now and in the future.”

    “Additionally, I’d like to recognize my assistant coaches, Nate Bjorkgren and Nathaniel Mitchell, for the vital role they both played through the first two windows of the Qualifiers,” said Nurse.  “The consistency we’ve been speaking about extends beyond just the players and across all aspects of the program, including our coaching and support staffs, as well.”

    Canada Basketball, in partnership with the Canadian Elite Basketball League, also announced Tuesday that Hamilton will host a Canada Day FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers matchup against Dominican Republic.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be Canada’s first game on home soil in over two years since February 2020 when the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers took place in Oshawa, Ont.

    “While having the opportunity to pull on the Canada jersey is always a special experience for any player, but having the chance to represent your country at home in front of friends, family and fans is a feeling unlike any other,” said Rowan Barrett, General Manager / Executive Vice-President, Senior Men’s Program. 

    “Hamilton has a long basketball history and has tremendous basketball programs and fans that support the game,” said Barrett.  “Hamilton is also home to a number of athletes within our national team programs.” 

    Canada used just 15 players across the first two FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers windows, including nine players who appeared on both rosters.

    Canada is in Group C for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers and will face the Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands and Bahamas.  Canada remains undefeated with a 4-0 record through the first two windows of the competition.

    Eighty national teams will play games across six qualifying windows to secure their place among the 30 teams who will join hosts Japan and the Philippines in the 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship event. 

    In the Americas region, 16 teams will face off over two rounds with the three best teams from each group, and the fourth-placed team qualifying for the FIBA Basketball 2023 World Cup.  For additional information on the format of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers, click here.

    The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, set to take place from August 25 to September 10, 2023, will see the Group Phase take place in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. The Final Phase will follow in the Philippines capital city of Manila.

    Canada is currently ranked 18th in the FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike.

    Senior Men’s National Team Summer Core

    Nickeil Alexander-Walker

    RJ Barrett

    Khem Birch

    Oshae Brissett

    Dillon Brooks

    Luguentz Dort

    Zach Edey

    Melvin Ejim

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

    Cory Joseph

    Jamal Murray

    Kelly Olynyk

    Kevin Pangos

    Dwight Powell

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    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.