SANTO DOMINGO OESTE, Dominican Republic — National team veterans Phil and Thomas Scrubb and Kyle Wiltjer headline the Canadian men's basketball roster for the first window of FIBA World Cup qualifying.
The Canadians tip off back-to-back games Sunday and Monday against the Bahamas in Americas region qualifying. The games will be held in a "bubble" due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.
Eighty national teams are playing across six qualifying windows to secure their place among the 30 teams that will join hosts Japan and the Philippines in the 32-team 2023 FIBA men's World Cup.
In the Americas group, 16 teams will face off over two rounds with the top three in each group and the fourth-placed team qualifying for the World Cup, which in turn is a direct qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Canada is in Group C of the qualifiers with the Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands and Bahamas.
Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren is stepping in as head coach for this window while Nick Nurse remains busy with the Raptors.
The World Cup is Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, 2023. The Philippines, Japan and Indonesia are hosting group phase games, while the final round will be held in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
The roster for this window was named after a mini camp in Houston.
Kyle Alexander, forward (Milton, Ont.); Anthony Bennett, forward (Toronto); Aaron Best, guard (Toronto); Kenny Chery, guard (Montreal); Kadre Gray, guard (Toronto); Owen Klassen, centre (Kingston, Ont.); AJ Lawson, guard (Brampton, Ont.); Kassius Robertson, guard (Toronto); Phil Scrubb, shooting guard (Richmond, B.C.); Thomas Scrubb, forward (Richmond, B.C.); Kyle Wiltjer, power forward (Portland, Ore.); Kalif Young, forward (Toronto).