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Canada names official Olympic men's basketball roster

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TORONTO — Canada's men's basketball team is now set for the Paris Olympics, and its shot at gold.

Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray headline a Canadian men's basketball team heavy with NBA experience that will compete this summer.

Canada Basketball and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced the roster Wednesday, with 11 of the 12 players named boasting playing time in the world's premier basketball league.

"Leading our senior men's national team into the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is an incredible honour," team captain Kelly Olynyk said in a statement. "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 us that we still have work to do as we pursue our ultimate goal of winning gold in Paris."

Hamilton's Gilgeous-Alexander starred as Canada qualified for the Olympics at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. He was named to the all-star five after averaging 24.5 points per game.

Canada went 6-2 in the World Cup, including key victories over several top-10 ranked teams, and ending the tournament with a win over the United States in the bronze-medal game. Eight players from that roster will represent Canada in Paris.

Olynyk and RJ Barrett will represent the Toronto Raptors on Canada's roster, which also includes World Cup standout Dillon Brooks of the Houston Rockets and defensive stalwart Luguentz Dort of the Thunder.

Murray, unlike those names, didn't compete at the World Cup which came just two months after a rigorous season in which he won an NBA title in 2022-23. The Kitchener, Ont., guard gives Canada a heavy boost offensively alongside Gilgeous-Alexander in the backcourt.

Melvin Ejim, who plays professionally for Unicaja Málaga in Spain, is the lone player with no NBA experience.

Canada's men's basketball team will be making its first Olympic appearance since finishing seventh at the 2000 Sydney Games. The men's lone Olympic medal was a silver in 1936.

“When we opened camp in Toronto last week, I challenged each of the players to improve one per cent each day, and every day since I’ve witnessed the work and dedication they have put in,” head coach Jordi Fernández said in a statement. “With 17 days to go until our first game of the tournament, that’s an opportunity to get 17 per cent 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.”

Men's basketball is scheduled from July 27 to Aug. 10.

Canada is in Group A alongside Greece, Australia and Spain. The seventh-ranked Canadians will open competition on July 27 against 14th-ranked Greece before playing fifth-ranked Australia on July 30 and second-ranked Spain on Aug. 2.

The group phase will be played in Lille, France. The top two teams from each group and the two best third-place teams qualify for the final phase, which will be held in Paris.

There will be a draw following the group phase to determine quarterfinal pairings, with the final phase to be played in knockout format.

ROSTER

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Toronto, Minnesota Timberwolves); RJ Barrett (Mississauga, Ont., Toronto Raptors); Khem Birch (Montreal, Girona (Spain)); Dillon Brooks (Mississauga, Houston Rockets); Luguentz Dort (Montreal, Oklahoma City Thunder); Melvin Ejim (Toronto, Malaga (Spain)); Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, Oklahoma City Thunder); Trey Lyles (Saskatoon, Sacramento Kings); Jamal Murray (Kitchener, Ont., Denver Nuggets); Andrew Nembhard (Aurora, Ont., Indiana Pacers); Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, B.C., Toronto Raptors), Dwight Powell (Toronto, Dallas Mavericks).

 

Here is the official roster:

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Toronto, Ont.)
RJ Barrett (Mississauga, Ont.)
Khem Birch (Montreal, Que.)
Dillon Brooks (Mississauga, Ont.)
Luguentz Dort (Montreal, Que.)
Melvin Ejim (Toronto, Ont.)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, Ont.)
Trey Lyles (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Jamal Murray (Kitchener, Ont.)
Andrew Nembhard (Aurora, Ont.)
Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, B.C.)
Dwight Powell (Toronto, Ont.)