Title: Canada’s qualification for 2019 FIBA World Cup a testament to depth of program
Date: December 3, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Canada qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and how they did so on the depth of their program, not just their high-end talent.
When Canada takes the floor in China for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the roster will be heavy on NBA talent. That they will be there at all, though, is to the credit of everything the Canada Basketball program has built around those elite NBA tentpoles in fleshing out a deep, coherent pipeline of talent and staff that made qualification possible.
On Monday, Canada went to Brazil and blew out the home team 94-67 to officially punch their World Cup ticket. The win came after an 18-hour travel session from Venezuela, where they’d lost a tough game following another 25-hour trek. The trips were hardly luxurious, the circuitous routes from a brief mini-camp in Orlando further testing the commitment of a dozen players who were using their international break or were missing time with their G League and U Sports teams to represent their country. Coached by Roy Rana, himself away from his Ryerson Rams, a team with only two players with NBA experience hammered an aging but immensely experienced and still-talented Brazilian side.
“A great and historic win for our country,” Rana said. “Character wins and I could not be more proud of all the guys who helped us through the windows to date as we now advance to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China. We’re especially grateful for the leadership of Joel Anthony. A Canadian basketball treasure.”