There has never been so much talent in professional basketball from north of the border. Canadian ballers are putting our country on the map.
Team Canada breezed through the Americas qualifying tournament with a record of 10-2. They did have help from NBA phenoms along the way, such as the three-point shooting big man and Miami Heat product Kelly Olynyk. Other NBA players that played in the tournament were Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Khem Birch, and Dillon Brooks.
In addition, a few NCAA prospects took part in the tournament, including Mississauga native and Duke superstar R.J. Barrett. Barrett, who is projected to be drafted third overall in the upcoming 2019 NBA draft, looks to be the future of Canadian basketball. Another prospect who took part in the tournament is Aurora, Ont., native and Florida University product Andrew Nembhard.
Canada definitely has the talent to compete with the high-ranked teams in the World Cup. The true test will be getting out of the “Group of Death,” which features countries such as sixth world ranked Lithuania and Australia, which is ranked 11th on the world stage. If Canada plays anything like they did during the qualifying tournament, earning a gold medal will not be out of reach.