Canada Basketball has invited 29 players, including Toronto Raptor Chris Boucher, to participate in its training camp ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Along with Boucher, there are 16 NBA players invited to the camp, including 2019-20 NBA rookies Marial Shayok, RJ Barrett, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Mfiondu Kabengele and newly-crowned Summer League MVP Brandon Clarke.
They’ll be joined by veteran NBA and Team Canada players including Jamal Murray, Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, Kelly Olynyk and Andrew Wiggins.
Ha! Just kidding on that last one. The talented Wiggins will once again forego playing for Team Canada, it seems; there was some thought that, with a coaching change — Toronto Raptors head coach (and NBA Champion, never forget) Nick Nurse is taking the reins for Team Canada’s World Cup team — Wiggins might have more of an interest in the proceedings, but, that doesn’t seem to be the case after all.
It should be noted that this is just a list of invitations, and that a finalized list will be announced prior to the start of camp; some of these players could drop out, and others (such as Wiggins) may announce their intentions to attend at a later date.
Either way, it’s an impressive-looking list; it may not be the ‘92 Dream Team but it is a stacked roster that speaks to the development of the sport across Canada over the past couple of decades.
Training camp begins August 4 at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto; the team will then play a couple of exhibition games across Canada, and a handful in Australia, before heading to China for the World Cup on August 31.
There, the final team of 12 players will compete in a group with Australia, Lithuania and Senegal; the top two teams advance to the next round, and then into an eight-team single-elimination tournament. A top-two finish (out of the teams from the Americas Zone) will qualify them for the 2020 Olympics.