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Canada’s Olympic hope: Shai, Barrett, Murray and Brooks



Canada’s Olympic hope: Shai, Barrett, Murray and Brooks

TORONTO (Canada) – Once again international basketball will have a star-studded Canada on display with the country announcing a glittering list of players to compete at the Summer Games in France.

Set to make their first appearance at the Olympics since 2000 in Sydney, Canada have eight of the stalwarts from last year’s team that finished third at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, led by All-Star Five selection Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

One of the favorites to get to the podium and maybe even challenge for gold at the Olympics, the Canadians will also have for the second year in a row Dillon Brooks, Kelly Olynyk, RJ Barrett, Lu Dort, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Melvin Ejim and Dwight Powell.

Canada should be even stronger with the addition of Denver Nuggets sharpshooter Jamal Murray, a little over a year since he won the NBA title, while rising star Andrew Nembhard has also joined the mix.

Nembhard blossomed into a big-time guard with the Indiana Pacers this past season, helping them reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sacramento Kings power forward/center Trey Lyles has been named, making this the first time he has represented Canada since the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria three years ago.

Khem Birch also returns to the team for the first time since the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China five years ago.

Canada were outstanding at the World Cup last year and they have been locked in ever since.

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“When we opened camp in Toronto last week, I challenged each of the players to improve one percent each day, and every day since I’ve witnessed the work and dedication they have put in,” said coach Jordi Fernandez, who led the team for the first time last summer.

“With 17 days to go until our first game of the tournament, that’s an opportunity to get 17% better. From the players to the coaches to the staff, the incredible opportunity ahead of us to do something truly historic for Canada this summer is not lost on anyone.”

Olynyk, meanwhile, will serve as captain. He is the longest serving member of the team, having first appeared with the senior team at the 2010 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Türkiye.

“Leading our senior men’s national team into the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is an incredible honor,” he said. “Since I began playing basketball, my dream has always been to represent Canada at the Olympics.

“Last year’s third-place finish at the FIBA World Cup was an important step, proving that we belong among the world’s best teams. However, it also showed that we still have work to do as we pursue our ultimate goal of winning gold in Paris.”

Canada will play in Group A with Australia, Greece and Spain. The Greeks and Spaniards clinched their places at the World Cup on Sunday by winning FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Piraeus and Valencia, respectively.


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