Canada has produced some solid talent but there will be an explosion that is bigger than the one we have been witnessing and it begins by looking at our Junior Men's National Team's potential roster. Can Ball Ray has seen the some pretty lean times when it comes to basketball in this country and he waxes poetic as to why he thinks this is the Golden Age of the game ...
Canada Basketball has released the final lineups for the Red and White game that's going on today at Humber College a day ago and the rosters for the Junior Men's National Team look pretty tough.
If we go down the roster, we will count two Gatorade State Player of the Years (Tyler Ennis, Andrew Wiggins), Indianapolis's Player of the Year (Trey Lyles), four NC-Double-Eh commits (Agunwa Okolie, Joe De Ciman, Braxston Bunce and Kaza Keane) and the consensus top player in the Class of 2014 (Wiggins). That doesn't include the other players who are highly talented and recruited players in their own right.
All I can say is that this particular group of players is what Canadian basketball fans are in need of. For the last few years, there has been a bubbling of basketball talent and it produced the likes of Denham Brown and Olu Famutimi. In the last five years we've had the pleasure of seeing Tristan Thompson, brothers Devoe and Cory Joseph, Kris Joseph and Andrew Nicholson. In the last two years we had Myck Kabongo, Khem Birch, Kyle Wiltjer, Kevin Pangos and Anthony Bennett makes some noise. Now we have these players on the Red and White rosters and there is nothing to say but hot damn!
The elite level talent has been increasing in the last decade at an incredible rate and we are now witnessing what I've been calling the golden age of Canadian basketball. All the systems in place now, that were likely being put into place five years ago and were not there five years previous, whatever they are are beginning to create and develop our players.
There has always been an argument that for Canada's size as a population we produce fewer elite level ball players than countries in Europe like Croatia and France. The difference was the development of the elite talent and I think now Canada is finally catching up to the rest of the world. What you have on these two rosters is what fans like myself, who can remember seeing no Canadian kids on D1 rosters let alone NBA ones, have dreamed of - talent that can play with anyone in the world. Now of course I mean in their age group but even saying that is an incredible statement.
The game has changed an evolved so drastically in the last 10-15 years and for a long time Canada wasn't able to keep up. Now, we can be possibly be looked upon as a potential leader in the foreseeable future.
How crazy is that?
Make no mistake about it, we are in the golden age of basketball in this country and there is no better time to be a fan of the game than right now. And the best part is that it will still get better.
Be proud fellow Canadian basketball fan because there is no time like the present.