Title: CANADA BASKETBALL IS BEING HELD BACK BY COMMITMENT, NOT TALENT
Date: July 11, 2016
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: In my latest for Vice Canada, I looked at Canada’s failure to qualify for the Olympics, why it happened, and what the program needs to do next.
From the moment Canada let a winnable FIBA Americas semifinal game slip away to Venezuela last summer, the senior men’s national team was building toward one game.
The painful loss to Venezuela squandered Canada’s best shot at qualifying for an Olympics since 2000, an unseemly drought that betrays just how much the Canada Basketball program has come in the last two decades. It left the Canadians with a single route to Brazil, and it ran through five other countries in the form of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Win the whole thing, and there was redemption for 2015. Slip at even one point along the way, and the Olympic drought would extend to at least 20 years.
On Sunday morning, diehard Canadian basketball fans awoke early. Canada had checked every box in the Philippines so far, going 3-0 to earn a berth in the QOT final. This was that one game.
Unfortunately, it came against France, an inevitability that made all but the most guarded optimism tough to come by. France is a basketball powerhouse, armed with Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Nando De Colo, Boris Diaw, Boris Diaw’s vintner, Boris Diaw’s barista, and Joffrey Lauvergne. Entering the game at 3-0, as well, France was favoured by 7.5 points, and walked out with an 83-74 victory and tickets to Rio.
Continue reading at Vice.