Page 2

16 athletes invited to attend Senior Women’s National Team training camp ahead of FIBA Women’s Americup 2019


TORONTO, Ont. (September 8, 2019) – Canada Basketball is pleased to announce the 16 athletes invited to attend Senior Women’s National Team training camp ahead of the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019. 

See below for the Senior Women’s National Team FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019 training camp invites.

“The FIBA Women’s AmeriCup is the official start of our Tokyo Olympic qualification process, so I know we’re all excited to get back together and continue this journey,” said Lisa Thomaidis, Head Coach, Senior Women’s National Team.  “Our experiences earlier this summer have enabled us to fine tune our processes so that we can hit the ground running.  As always, representing Canada is such a huge honour for all of us and we’re excited to get going.”

The FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019 will be played September 22-29 in San Juan’s historic Coliseo Roberto Clemente and fans in Canada can catch all the action live on DAZN.  Canada is in Group A for the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup along with Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, and hosts, Puerto Rico.

“We are looking forward to starting our Tokyo Olympic qualification process with training camp in Edmonton, the home of Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team, and to have more time to continue the team’s growth to compete against the best teams in the world as we pursue our Olympic goals,” said Denise Dignard, Director Women’s High Performance.

Entering the tournament as two-time defending FIBA AmeriCup champions, Canada will look to make it three straight later this month at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019.  Canada has found a spot on the podium in seven of the last eight competitions dating back to the 2003 FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Culiacan, Mexico.

The FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019 will begin with a Group Phase, where teams play round-robin format for four days. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals of the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019, where the top team of Group A will play the second team of Group B and the top team of Group B will play the second team of Group A. The winners of the semifinals will go-on to play for the continental title on September 29.

As part of the Women’s National Team Competition System, the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019 will qualify the top 8 teams to the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments in November.

The FIBA Women’s Pre-Qualifying Tournaments in Americas will qualify the top four teams for the four global FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020, taking place in February 2020.  Canada will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a top two three finish in their group in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2020.

Canada is currently ranked 5th worldwide in the FIBA World Ranking presented by NIKE.


NamePositionHeightHometown2019-2020 Club / School
Natalie AchonwaForward6’3″Guelph, ONIndiana Fever (WNBA)
Kayla AlexanderForward6’4″Milton, ONChicago Sky (WNBA) / Cukurova Mersin (Turkey)
Laeticia AmihereForward6’4″Mississauga, ONSouth Carolina (NCAA)
Miranda AyimForward6’3″London, ONBasket Landes (France)
Bridget CarletonGuard6’1″Chatham, ONMinnesota Lynx (WNBA) / Townsville Fire (Australia)
Shay ColleyGuard5’9″Brampton, ONMichigan State (NCAA)
Quinn DornstauderCentre6’4″Regina, SKZamarat (Spain)
Aaliyah EdwardsForward6’3″Kingston, ONCrestwood Prep (OSBA)
Kim GaucherGuard6’1″Mission, BCMondeville (France)
Ruth HamblinCentre6’6″Houston, BCDynamo Novosibirsk (Russia)
Sami HillGuard5’10”Toronto, ONDonau-Ries (Germany)
Miah-Marie LangloisGuard5’8″Windsor, ONDynamo Novosibirsk (Russia)
Kia NurseGuard6’0″Hamilton, ONNew York Liberty (WNBA) / Canberra Capitals (Australia)
Shaina PellingtonGuard5’8″Pickering, ONArizona (NCAA)
Nayo Raincock-EkunweForward6’2″Toronto, ONNew York Liberty (WNBA) / Nadezhda Orenburg (Russia)
Jamie ScottGuard5’10”Clarkston, WADynamo Novosibirsk (Russia)


Lisa ThomaidisHead CoachDundas, ONUniversity of Saskatchewan
Steve BaurAssistant CoachSackville, NSCanada Basketball
Carly ClarkeAssistant CoachHalifax, NSRyerson University
Max HirstCoordinator, Performance AnalysisCollingwood, ONCanada Basketball
Lauren BuschmannSports Scientist & IST ManagerSt. Catharines, ONCanada Basketball/CSI-Ontario
Rhonda ShishkinPhysiotherapistSaskatoon, SKUniversity of Saskatchewan
Danielle DobneyAthletic TherapistToronto, ONYork University
Bryce Tully Mental Performance ConsultantHalifax, NSCSC-Atlantic
Marni WesnerLead PhysicianEdmonton, ABUniversity of Alberta
Kristin AnsteyPhysicianEdmonton, ABUniversity of Alberta
Anne Marie ThussTeam ManagerHamilton, ONMcMaster University
Denise DignardDirector, WHPPort Cartier, QCCanada Basketball
Mike MacKayPerformance Manager, WHPTruro, NSCanada Basketball
Matt WalkerCommunications ManagerAncaster, ONCanada Basketball


September 9-18Training Camp Saville Community Sports CentreEdmonton, AB
September 22Canada vs. Mexico12:30 PMFIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2019San Juan, Puerto Rico
September 23Canada vs. Cuba5:30 PM
September 24Canada vs. Puerto Rico8:00 PM
September 26Canada vs. Dominican Republic5:30 PM
September 28SemifinalsTBD
September 29FinalsTBD

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Canada falls to Germany to conclude FIBA Basketball World Cup



SHANGHAI, CHINA (September 9, 2019) – The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team fell 82-76 to Germany on Monday to close out their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 campaign.  

Click here for the box score.

Kyle Wiltjer led the team with 18 points, Khem Birch contributed 15 points (on 6-for-7 field goals) to go with nine rebounds, and Melvin Ejim added nine points and eight rebounds in the loss.

With World Cup play wrapped up for Canada, the team now shifts its focus to a FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer that will determine spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“We had moments in this tournament where we played really well and we had some times where we didn’t,” Ejim said. “We would have liked to play better in those first two games [in Round 1] and shot it as well as we did against Jordan [on Saturday], but it doesn’t always work like that. I think we came out, played hard, and tried to give ourselves a chance.”

Germany was led by Dennis Schroder’s game-high 21 points, while Maximilian Kleber had 20 points and Robin Benzing added 12.

“I think we played some really good competition,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “It was a good experience for us. Playing Australia, Lithuania in the group [pool], then we ended up playing Germany in this side of the pool as well. [Those are] three very highly-ranked teams, so it was good for us to get some good competition.”

Canada shot 35 percent in the loss, compared to 41 percent for Germany. While Canada was 13-for-17 from the free-throw line, Germany finished 25-of-31 from the line.

“Today was a microcosm of how we’ve played,” Nurse said. “We look great for stretches, then have some cold stretches where we couldn’t put the ball in the basket, but I thought we generated good shots. I thought we played hard. We just needed to shoot the ball a little better today.”

After playing two exhibition games in Canada against Nigeria and then a five-game exhibition tour in Australia before arriving in China for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Nurse was pleased with the opportunity for the team to get to know one another better over the past month.

“It was a very good and wide snapshot for me,” Nurse said. “From the training camp, to getting on the road, and being on the road for a long time, playing such good competition, we played great competition in Australia as well. I’m pretty happy with how we worked, how we practiced. I thought we played hard.”

Cory Joseph, Khem Birch & Kyle Wiltjer

Though Canada scored first on Monday, Germany went on a 9-0 run to take a seven-point lead before Ejim connected on a three-pointer to make it 9-5 Germany with 6:04 remaining in the first quarter. A steal and layup from Andrew Nembhard at the end of the quarter brought Canada within five. As both teams shot 33 percent from the floor and struggled to score in the quarter, Germany held a 17-12 advantage after the opening 10 minutes.

Nembhard found Conor Morgan for a three to trim Germany’s lead to two to open the second quarter. Germany responded with a three of their own, but another three for Canada, this time from Phil Scrubb, again kept Canada within two, 20-18, with 8:39 to go in the half. Back-to-back buckets from Nembhard followed by a three-point play from Owen Klassen gave Canada a one-point lead midway through the quarter. Scrubb scored again on a layup to extend the lead to three, resulting in a Germany timeout. After the teams traded free throws, Canada stretched its lead to six, 33-27 with 3:51 to go in the half, but Germany closed the quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 36-33 lead into the break. Germany’s Dennis Schroder led all scorers with 10 points at the half, while Canada was led by six points apiece from Nembhard and Morgan.

Team Canada opened the third quarter on a 13-3 run to take a 46-39 lead after a Birch dunk with 5:31 remaining in the quarter. After back-to-back three-pointers from Wiltjer, Canada extended its lead to double-figures. A layup from Joseph gave Canada a 54-44 advantage with 3:50 remaining in the third, but Germany closed the quarter strong again, this time on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 56 heading into the fourth.

Canada struggled offensively to start the final quarter and was scoreless at the 7:41 mark when Nurse called a timeout after Germany opened a 63-56 lead. Canada’s first points of the quarter came on a pair of free throws from Birch with 7:04 remaining. After a technical foul free throw and dunk from Birch, Canada trimmed Germany’s lead to just two midway through the quarter. They tied it on a three-pointer from Wiltjer, assisted by Birch, with 5:07 remaining. From there, Germany outscored Canada 14-7 to lead 78-71 with 1:23 remaining. Though Wiltjer would hit a pair of free throws as well as a floater, Canada could not bridge the gap, falling to Germany 82-76 to finish 2-3 at the World Cup, and 2nd in their Classification Pool.

“I love National Team basketball,” Nurse said. “I think there’s something really special about these guys putting it on the line for their country and giving up their time. It’s to me, the purest form of basketball that we have, so I love that.

“Its important to us to do well [in FIBA competition],” Nurse said. “It means a lot to our players. It means a lot to our coaches. It means a lot to me personally. We’ll keep moving forward.”

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Raptors 905 open tryout yields almost 100 aspiring NBA G League ballers


(Mississauga, ON) 98 tryout hopefuls competed for one of four coveted spots on the 2019 NBA Champions’ G League affiliate’s training camp roster. Yes, that’s a training camp roster, meaning there are no guarantees of making the final Raptors 905 roster. The selection process is unforgiving; the player must make the open tryouts, make it past training camp and must be chosen on the finalized roster, all for the possibility of making a $35,000 base salary.

“This is the largest turnout we’ve had in the five years of the (Raptors 905) program,” said General Manager Chad Sanders. “Part of that is due to the success of the Raptors, and buzz of basketball in the city and the country.”

The majority of tryout hopefuls were looking for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play under the 905’s coaching staff — even if just for a day. For a select few, cracking a 905 roster spot can be a career-changing experience. Playing in the G League instantly adds to a player’s credibility, increasing his marketability amongst top-level European and/or Asian professional leagues.

Raptors 905 GM Chad Sanders

Xavier Moon, nephew of former Toronto Raptor Jamario Moon, paid for his own flight and accommodation to try out at the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM) this past Saturday. He is off to L.A. next weekend, then Detroit and New Orleans to continue workouts at various camps. After graduating from Morehead State in 2017, his career has spanned three countries: France, United States and Canada.

“If I make it to The League (NBA) then, I’d be happy,” said Moon about his lofty ambitions. “Just making sure that I keep working on what I need to work on and get there eventually.”


Gilbert Gyamfi spent the past season playing in France’s NM-3 and played for the Niagara River Lions of the brand new CEBL this past summer. Darlington Osazuwa had a brief stint with the London Lightning (NBL Canada) last season and recently played in the OVO Basketball event. Kenny Ejim took his talents to Spain’s LEB Silver and recently returned from China, having competed in the King of Kings (KOK) tournament in China with Team On Point. After three years away from home, Jasonn Hannibal, who played for Hong Kong Eastern, returned to Mississauga to tryout for his hometown team.

Teru Ikeda & Jasonn Hannibal

All are competing for a 905 training camp roster spot and are looking to build their professional basketball resumes.

“(People) see what’s going on here. They see the process of our 905 program and players that go from the 905 to the NBA,” said Sanders. “I think they want to be a part of that. And I think that’s part of our appeal.”

In 2016, Negus Webster-Chan, recent CEBL champion with the Saskatchewan Rattlers, joined the 905 as a walk-on. Coached under former head coach Jerry Stackhouse, Webster-Chan won a G League championship along with Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. In 2017, Kaza Kajami-Keane and Richard Amardi attained a 905 roster spot through open tryouts. Keane is currently on Team Canada’s FIBA World Cup roster and Amardi — after having a coming-of-age summer in 2017, dominating the Crown League and cracking Team Canada’s FIBA America roster — is currently playing professionally for Laski Lucile in Bulgaria.

Competition was intense at the 5th Raptors 905 Open Tryouts

The Toronto Raptors and the Raptors 905 have always found diamonds in the rough and polished them. Expect the organization to continue finding more.

Written by Teri Ikeda. Check out Ikeda on Twitter

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Zheng. Check out Jeremy on Instagram

Canada’s Women 3X3 Red Bull Reign World Champs, Men bow out in Global Semis


(Toronto, ON) Four players representing Canada, appropriately named ‘She The North’, popped champagne, as they were crowned Red Bull Reign world champions! A total of 20 teams congregated under The Bentway this past Sunday to compete in a global 3-on-3 basketball tournament, hosted by the multinational energy drink.

Four countries competed in the women’s division and 16 for men’s. For the men’s division, Estonia claimed the throne, convincingly defeating Russia 21-7 in the championship game. Team Canada (Vancouver) lost in overtime in the semi-finals against Russia. In Red Bull Reign, winners were determined after 10 minutes of regulation time or by the first team to score 21 points.

Jamie Hutcheson of Red Bull Reign World Finals Champions Team Canada

“Redbull has been known for its involvement in extreme sports, but seeing it go all out for basketball and especially on the women’s side too, is huge,” raved women’s Red Bull Reign champ and 3X3 women’s national team member Mariah Nunes.  

“(Red Bull) will definitely grow the interest of female ballers, especially in Toronto. I’ve had so many female ballers hitting me up on social media saying how they regret not entering or that they are super excited for next year.”

The event was electrifying with an endless supply of humorous punchlines from MC Q Mack and also the energy emanated from the voice of Popz. Before the finals match-ups, an incredible duet of beatboxer Scott Jackson and violinist Eugene Draw dazzled the crowd. This was followed by high-flying dunks from Justin “Jus Fly” Darlington, Daniel Kabeya, Nickolas “Juvi” Gardner, Robert Nortmann and Team Canada’s Clay Crellin.

Team Estonia-2019 Red Bull Reign Reign World Finals Champions


A free throw by Danielle Garven gave Canada their first title, defeating Hong Kong 21-16. 

Three of the four members of She the North also competed in the FIBA GTA 3×3 tournament earlier this summer, so they came into this tournament with synergy. Keneca Giles played with a Kyle Lowry-esque ferocity throughout the day. Danielle Garven brought size and post play down low; Mariah Nunes’ showed off her driving ability and strong finishes at the rim; and Jamie Hutcheson brought a versatile skill set to the world champs.

Red Bull Reign Canadian Champions Team Vancouver (Mens) & Team Toronto (Womens)


The headliner of the tournament, Joey Haywood or better known as ‘King Handles’, who boasts over 141k Instagram followers and his teammates represented Canada, coming all the way from Vancouver. Haywood’s story gained notoriety outside the basketball community through a VICE documentary, garnering over 1.6 million views. Canada also featured Demitri Harris, Elliot Mason and Crellin.

Considering Canada’s slow start in the first round robin games, getting to the semi-finals was an accomplishment. The intensity revved up with each game, most notably in the second round robin game where Canada defeated eventual champions Estonia 14-5.  

2019 Red Bull Reign Canadian Champions Team Vancouver
Demitri Harris, Clay Crellin, Joey Haywood & Elliot Mason


Displays of raw emotion unfolded throughout the day. Given the long distances travelled to compete in Toronto, every team was determined to win.

When the UK lost to Netherlands by one point in the second round, Tarryn Algar sat in solitude, head sunk in his hands, blankly staring into the court where he had just suffered defeat. Players around the globe came and congratulated him on his team’s efforts in show of solidarity.

When Russia lost to Estonia in the finals, Denis Bergman laid stomach down on the grassy hill overlooking the Red Bull courts in sheer exhaustion. Perhaps, he couldn’t fathom a second place finish after all the effort he put in.

Summer tournaments like Red Bull Reign allow players to showcase the skills they develop during all the unseen hours in the gym. For them, global tournaments are just as much a professional conference, allowing them to forge new and build on existing relationships. 

All participants pose for portrait at the Red Bull Reign World Finals in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Next summer, 3×3 basketball will be an official Olympic sport in Tokyo. August has also been a great month for Canada’s 3×3 women’s national team as they won back-to-back tournaments in Czech Republic and Romania, positioning them strongly for the Olympic qualifying tournament. 

3×3 basketball and Red Bull Reign will only continue to grow as the physicality and intimate half-court setting provide an entertaining product to hoops fans worldwide.

Red Bull Reign Women’s World Finalists Hong Kong

Written by Teru Ikeda. Check out Teru on Twitter

Photos courtesy Red Bull Canada/Red Bull Reign

Canada sets FIBA Basketball World Cup record in win over Jordan


SHANGHAI, CHINA (September 7, 2019) – The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team defeated Jordan 126-71 on Saturday in their first of two classification games at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Click here for a boxscore.

Kyle Wiltjer led the way with a game-high 29 points, scored in just 22 minutes as he shot 11-for-14 from the floor and 7-for-9 from beyond the arc. He led a Canadian team that was lights out from deep, making 24-of-44 attempts from three and shooting 59 percent from the floor in a game where they never trailed.

The 24 made three-pointers established a new FIBA Basketball World Cup record.  Canada surpassed the previous record of 19 which was set by the USA (vs Puerto Rico, Russia) at the 1994 World Championship For Men.

“I thought our guys did a good job,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “[They] took a real professional approach. We’re trying to play tough defence as much as we can and share the ball on offence, play a driving-and-kicking out to three-point style offence and today that was going pretty well, obviously. I’m just glad every guy we put on the floor went out there and played with some energy, some focus and real professionalism.”

Wiltjer was one of five players to reach double figures for Canada as Conor Morgan added 14 points, Melvin Ejim scored 13, Kevin Pangos added 10 points and Cory Joseph had 11 points to go with eight assists.

“For us, our main goal is to make the Olympics, so every game we have to get better as a program,” Wiltjer said. “I think we did that today. Building that camaraderie and moving forward, learning things as we go every day, and improving from our mistakes in the past. We just want to continue to get better.”

Canada recorded 37 assists as a team on 44 made field goals as every player on the roster recorded a basket.

“[The assists and made field goals] go hand in hand,” Nurse said. “I would always take 37 assists. I think it’s great when most of your shots are a good percentage. I think there was only seven shots that weren’t assisted for the day which is great. I think assisted baskets hold up in tough games.”

Canada opened the scoring in the game as Khem Birch cleaned up a miss with an offensive rebound and dunk. Ejim scored on a layup not long after, and then threes from Pangos and Wiltjer along with a three-point play from Birch gave Canada an early 13-2 lead midway through the opening quarter. Canada continued to score from deep as Ejim and Wiltjer connected on two more three-pointers to extend Canada’s lead to 21-9 with 4:08 remaining in the quarter. A three-pointer from Phil Scrubb extended the lead to 26-9 and then it was Joseph who nailed a three from half-court at the buzzer to give Canada a 31-13 lead after the first 10 minutes. Canada shot 63 percent in the quarter, including 6-for-8 from deep.

The basket continued to be open for Canada in the second quarter where the team connected on eight threes, finishing 14-for-23 from beyond the arc in the first half to to take a dominant 63-35 lead at the break. Six different players for Canada hit at least one three in the half as Kyle Wiltjer led all scorers with 16 points, while Ejim and Heslip each added nine points and Joseph contributed eight points and seven assists as Canada recorded 19 assists on 23 made field goals over the first two quarters of play. 

Canada opened the third on a 25-7 run, stretching the lead to 83-42 at the 4:06 mark. Wiltjer continued to score, hitting three more three-pointers and scoring 13 points in the quarter to have a game-high 29 points after three as Canada won the third 36-15 and went into the fourth ahead 99-50. 

In the final frame, Canada continued to roll. A three from Andrew Nembhard meant every player on the roster had scored and also extended the lead to 105-52 with 8:17 remaining.  Canada’s final basket of the game, a three-pointer from Morgan with 1:09 on the clock, gave the team its largest lead of the game at 126-66 before Jordan scored the final five points of the game to give Canada the 126-71 victory.

Up next for Team Canada is a matchup against Germany on Monday at 8:00 A.M. ET. This will be Canada’s final game in China. Despite the team failing to advance into the second round of the tournament, Wiltjer talked about the future benefit of the team getting familiar with one another and also with new head coach Nurse at this year’s FIBA World Cup.

“Building cohesion [is important], Wiltjer said. “Even for myself as player, I didn’t know what to expect because we brought in a new coach and with that comes a new system. If we have to play next year, guys like Cory, Khem, me, we know the system now. We feel comfortable in it.

“It’s fun, I’m really honoured to be here,” Wiltjer said. “Hopefully moving forward we can continue to build on these successes.”

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Canada downs Senegal for first win at FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019


DONGGUAN, CHINA (September 5, 2019) – The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team recorded an 82-60 victory against Senegal on Thursday at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. This was Canada’s first victory of the tournament, moving them to 1-2 in first-round play and placing them third in Group H.

Click here for a box score.

Cory Joseph led the way with a game-high 24 points, while Kevin Pangos added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, Melvin Ejim had 11 points and eight rebounds and Khem Birch added 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Senegal was led by a 14-point effort from Mouhammad Faye and 10 points from Lamine Sambe in the loss.

Though Team Canada got off to a slow start against Senegal, trailing 22-11 after the opening quarter, Canada won the second quarter 22-10, to take a 33-32 lead into the half. Joseph led Canada with nine points at the break.

“Senegal’s a good team,” Joseph said. “They’re long, athletic. At the start we had to get used to their length. They play good defence. Second half, we talked amongst each other, Nick [Nurse] told us to execute better and that’s what we did. Went out there, played better defence and our defence transitioned into our offence, easier buckets.”

Canada never trailed in the second half and, after trailing by 10 following the first quarter, outscored Senegal 71-38 over the final three quarters.

“We generated pretty good offence tonight for the entire game,” Nurse said. “We didn’t make any shots in the first quarter. It felt a little painful, we missed a bunch of layups, a bunch of open threes. Like Cory said, we were all saying just keep doing what we’re doing, we’re getting the shots we want, they’ll fall eventually. We were 4-for-19 from three in the first half and 8-for-17 in the second half.”

Though neither team shot particularly well, with Senegal shooting 37 percent for the game and Canada at 38 percent, the Canadians dominated the boards, outrebounding Senegal 47-32, including 27-8 on the offensive glass.

“We had a couple big points of emphasis going into the game and one was try to stop their driving with multiple bodies,” Nurse said. “I think we did that and that enabled us to have a lot of bodies in there to rebound. Tonight was a much better job from us considering we got pounded on the glass the other night by Lithuania.”

A jumper from Ejim opened the scoring in the second half, but a three from Lamine Sambe tied things at 35 points. From there, Joseph went to work, hitting a step-back jumper and then a three to give Canada its largest lead of the game, 42-37, with 6:32 remaining in the third. Joseph continued to roll, hitting two more three-pointers to finish with 11 points in the quarter. A jumper from Pangos gave Canada its first double-digit lead of the game, 52-42 with 3:11 remaining in the quarter. Joseph checked out with 20 points scored through three quarters and Canada went into the fourth leading 59-46.

Melvin Ejim-11pts 8rebs 2assts

“I think we came out the third quarter and we just picked up our energy,” Joseph said. “Picked up our aggressiveness. We were able to get a couple more stops, crashed the boards a little bit. In terms of my 11 points, my teammates did a good job of setting screens and finding me when I got a little bit hot.”

In the fourth, Joseph picked up where he left off, hitting a layup to open the fourth-quarter scoring. Senegal scored its first points of the quarter with 8:08 remaining in the game with Canada ahead 62-48. A three-point play from Ejim further extended Canada’s lead to 18 and then a layup from Joseph made it 71-51 with 4:55 remaining as Canada went on to collect the victory.

Though Canada will not be one of two teams advancing from Group H as Lithuania and Australia each won their first two games in the first round, Nurse was glad to get a chance to hit the court against both teams.

“I think we’ve got a really good look at obviously two of the best teams in the world,” he said. “You get a chance to see what they look like and go out there and grind it out with them, bang against them and then you keep playing.”

With first round play now complete for Canada, the team will face Germany and Jordan in a pair of classification games to be played Saturday and Monday. Fans can watch the games in Canada on DAZN.

“We leave here with some confidence off the win,” Nurse said. “ [We’ve] got a couple more games to play and we’ve got to go play them.”

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Canada drops FIBA Basketball World Cup opener to Australia


DONGGUAN, CHINA (September 1, 2019) – The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team dropped a 108-92 decision to Australia in their first game at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. 

Click here for the box score.

Khem Birch led the Canadians with 18 points as Cory Joseph added 16 and Kevin Pangos scored 14 to go with eight assists in the loss. 

“I thought we had moments where we played pretty well, we played our kind of basketball and I thought there were moments where we struggled and didn’t get stops like we needed to, didn’t get scores like we needed to,” Pangos said. “They’re a good team. They’ve got a lot of talent, a lot of size, shooters, so unfortunately it didn’t go our way today. We’ve got to get back and learn from some of the things we didn’t do so well, take some positives and get better for next game.”

Australia was led by Matthew Dellavedova’s game-high 24 points, while Joe Ingles added 13 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, and Chris Goulding added 16 points.

“They’ve got a really good experienced physical team and we just ran out of gas a little bit against them,” head coach Nick Nurse said.

After a first half that saw Australia take a nine-point lead after the first 10 minutes and then a 12-point lead, 52-40, into the halftime break, the second half featured extensive scoring runs from both teams. 

“I thought the start wasn’t very good for us, and I didn’t think the end was very good, and I thought the middle was excellent [for us],” Nurse said.

Canada came out rolling to start the third as Birch struck first in the second half on a fadeaway. After a steal and score from Joseph, a steal and score from Pangos, and then a three from Kyle Wiltjer, Canada had reeled off nine straight points as Australia called timeout with their lead trimmed to 52-49 with 8:07 remaining in the third. 

The Canadians continued to roll out of the timeout. After scoring just 40 points in the first half, Canada poured in 37 points in the third and used a 23-3 run spanning the end of the second quarter and first half of the third quarter to go back in front, and ultimately win the third, 37-24. Canada took a one-point lead, 77-76, into the fourth.

Things flipped again in the fourth where Australia opened the quarter on a 16-2 run to take a 92-79 lead with 6:24 remaining. 

“We regrouped [at the half] and after halftime came out and put a heck of a third quarter together, then had another bad stretch to start the fourth,” Nurse said.

“It was a game [where] we were going to have to keep scoring and then we didn’t score for a stretch,” Nurse continued. “We were just playing transition defence and they were getting it down a little quicker than we would have liked because we had such a cold streak on offence.”

A bucket and free throws from Birch trimmed the deficit to nine points, but Canada would not get any closer the rest of the way though as Australia scored another 12 straight points to go ahead 104-83 with 1:16 remaining. Brady Heslip made a pair of shots in the final 28 seconds to narrow the final tally, but Canada was outscored 32-15 in the final quarter as Australia collected the victory.

Canada shot 48 percent from the floor and 33 percent (9-for-27) from beyond the arc in the loss. Australia finished 58 percent from the floor and 41 percent from three (11-for-27).

“We knew we were going to have to play extraordinary basketball to get out of this group,” Nurse said. “And we had some extraordinary moments tonight, but we’re going to have to stretch them out a little bit and go from there.”

Up next for the Canadians is a meeting with Lithuania on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 A.M. ET. Fans can catch the game streaming live on DAZN.

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Senior Men’s National Team Announced Ahead of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019


DONGGUAN, CHINA (August 30, 2019) – Canada Basketball is pleased to announce the roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Click here for the Senior Men’s National Team FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 roster.

“Playing for your country is one of the greatest honours in sport and the players are fully committed to giving everything they have for Canada,” said Nick Nurse, Head Coach, Senior Men’s National Team.  “I’m proud of the group of players we’ve selected to represent Canada at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup.”

Fans in Canada can catch all the action from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 streaming live and on demand on DAZN.

Canada is heading back to the World Cup for the first time since the 2010 FIBA World Championship after finishing the FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas Qualifiers with a 10-2 record to lead Group F.  

This will be Canada’s 14th appearance at the World Cup.  The country’s highest placement in the tournament was back-to-back sixth place finishes in 1978 and 1982.

Canada is in Group H for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and will face Australia (September 1, 3:30 AM ET), Lithuania (September 3, 7:30 AM ET) and Senegal (September 5, 3:30 AM ET) in the First Round.  Click here for the competition schedule.

“Training camp and exhibition games against other international federations have been an important opportunity for us to further evaluate our team,” said Rowan Barrett, General Manager, Men’s High Performance. “We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us at the FIBA Basketball World Cup and are excited for the challenge as we represent Canada”.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China (Aug. 31-Sept. 15, 2019) will be the biggest edition of FIBA’s flagship event with a record 32 participating teams playing 92 games over 16 days.

For the first time, the FIBA Basketball World Cup will qualify seven teams directly for the following year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Canada must finish either first or second in the Americas zone to earn a direct berth.  Click here for additional information on Olympic qualification.

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Red Bull Reign 3 on 3 National and World Finals at The Bentway Labour Day Weekend


The final days of summer ’19 are upon us. The CNE will be open for one more weekend and families are preparing for the upcoming school year. 

With Labour Day weekend so close, the Raptors championship run seems like a lifetime ago. During our city’s pursuit for the Larry O’Brien trophy, we all saw how diverse and multicultural the basketball fan base is. 

This Labour Day weekend, the basketball world will convene under the Gardiner Expressway, at The Bentway on Saturday, August 31st. Teams will be arriving to Pearson International Airport from 15 countries: Angola, Belgium, Estonia, Hong Kong (China), India, Kosovo, Lithuania, Montenegro, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom to join Canada in the tournament.

The Bentway is where Red Bull will be hosting a 3-on-3 world basketball finals, where men’s and women’s finalists from 16 different countries will compete for a grand prize of $7,000 CAD (second place will take $3,000 CAD).

Games will be played on a half court designed by Legends League founder Bryan Espiritu and fellow artist Ghostface Adam. Games will be fast and high-octane — they are 10 minutes long or the first team to 21 points wins (1 point per basket and 2 points outside the three-point range). DJ 4Korners, the official DJ of the 2019 NBA Champions, will be spinning, keeping the energy pumping.


YouTube dunk sensation, Justin “Jus Fly” Darlington, will headline the dunk contest. Daniel Kabeya, known for his 50-inch superhuman vertical, will be there as well competing against “Jus Fly”.

Kabeya is excited to spread his wings. “It should be fun and exciting to fly with Jus Fly,” said Kabeya. “I’m excited to inspire more youth that look up to me.”

“I’ve performed in Toronto at (the 2016) NBA All-Star Weekend and won the (Bell Slam Dunk) contest there. So this will be the second biggest Toronto show next to that one that I’ve done.”

Red Bull Reign World Finals


While the finalists have been determined for 15 countries, Canada’s finalists will be determined the day before the world finals, on August 30th, also at The Bentway

Toronto’s regional champions, She The North (Women’s division) and Team On Point (Men’s), will be competing against Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg’s champions. 

Team On Point’s Daniel Gordon expressed his excitement for this weekend. “I’m very excited about playing in the nationals. Playing in these tournaments aren’t easy and you never know the skill of your competition,” he said. “I’m proud of my guys and myself about how we performed (in the Toronto qualifiers), and we worked as a team.”

Highly acclaimed player and streetball legend and world class ball handler Joey Haywood better known as ‘King Handles’, will be representing Vancouver as their squad looks to punch their ticket to the worlds.

Be part of Red Bull Reign’s World Finals on the final days of summer, August 30-31st! Admission is free. 

Red Bull is proud to be working alongside Canada Basketball, H&M and Wilson as our partners at the world finals.

Red Bull continues to support Toronto’s basketball culture. Last year, a nine-part documentary series called True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball was released in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada. 

Red Bull Reign Toronto Qualifier


What: Red Bull Reign – a global 3-on-3 streetball tournament

Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario

When: Saturday August 31st, 11am – 5pm

Join the Conversation 


Twitter: @RedBullCanada

Instagram: @RedBullReign, @RedBullCanada


Written by Teru Ikeda. Check out Teru on Twitter

Photos courtesy of Jacob Dicks. Check out Jacob on Instagram

Canada falls to USA in final tune-up before the FIBA Basketball World Cup


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (August 27, 2019) – The Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball team dropped an 84-68 decision to the United States in their final exhibition game in Australia before heading to China for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Click here for the box score.

Kyle Wiltjer scored a game-high 21 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter for Canada, while Khem Birch added 13 in the loss. The United States were led by Jaylen Brown’s 19 points, as well as a 10-point, 15-rebound double-double from Myles Turner.

“You don’t play great every night,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “They’ll be fine. We just flush this one away and get back to what we’re doing.”  

Canada was without Oshae Brissett who missed the game due to injury, but saw the return of Andrew Nembhard and Brady Heslip. Nembhard left the game after a fall early in a win against New Zealand last week, while Heslip joined the team in Australia for the first time. Despite having the two back in the lineup, Canada was unable to overcome a slow start in the first quarter on Monday night.

“I don’t think we played very well tonight,” Nurse said. “I think we’ve been playing pretty well, with a lot of juice and spirit and energy and I think you could almost sum that game up in the first four or five possessions [of the game].”

Donovan Mitchell scored the first two baskets of the game to give USA an early 5-0 lead. A fadeaway from Kevin Pangos put Canada on the board at the 7:09 mark, but Team Canada struggled to see their shots fall in the early going and connected on just three more field goals the rest of the quarter. After starting just 3-for-17 from the floor, Canada finished 4-for-20 in the quarter, giving up 41 percent shooting to the United States to trail 20-9 after one.

Canada put together a 12-5 run that was capped by a Wiltjer jumper to get within five with two minutes remaining in the half, but Team USA closed the quarter on an 11-1 run to take a 46-31 lead at the break. Canada shot 27 percent from the floor in the first half, as the United States shot 48 percent. Neither team was particularly successful from deep, with Canada making 3-of-14 attempts from three, while the United States connected on just 2-of-8 attempts. Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 13 points in the half.

Khem Birch opened the scoring in the second half with a layup at the 8:26 mark, then followed that with a tip in on Canada’s next possession. After a pair of free throws from Melvin Ejim trimmed Canada’s deficit to 52-41 midway through the third, the United States scored eight straight to stretch the lead to 60-41 with three minutes remaining in the quarter as Canada called timeout. Out of the timeout, Wiltjer scored Canada’s final six points of the quarter, but the Canadians went into the fourth trailing 64-47.

Wiltjer continued to light it up in the fourth, scoring 11 of his game-high 21 in the quarter. Despite Wiltjer’s scoring boost off the bench, Canada was ultimately unable to overcome the early 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter, as Canada was outscored by just five points over the final three quarters.

“We’re just learning a lot about each other,” Wiltjer said. “Games are the best way to prepare and we’ve got a great coaching staff. The film doesn’t lie. We’re going to watch it tomorrow, clean up some things.

“We’re really grateful we’re able to come out here and prepare for the World Cup.”

For first-time Team Canada head coach Nurse, the stay in Australia provided necessary time for players and coaching staff to get familiar.

“I’ve learned a lot about them,” Nurse said. “I’m a new coach [for this team], and they’re still trying to learn me, I think and we’ve made a lot of progress.

“I think our guys have made a lot of strides, play hard, have chemistry,” he said. “We’ve been really competitive, fun to watch, we’ve defended, moved the ball, all that stuff. We’ve played great. We don’t expect to play perfectly every night, or even to play well every night.”

Canada finished 3-2 in its five-game exhibition slate in Australia, after splitting a pair of exhibition games played in Canada against Nigeria. The team will now head to China in advance of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 which begins Aug. 31.

Courtesy Canada Basketball