After a fifth-place finish last summer with Canada’s U-19 team at the FIBA World U-19 championships in Greece, Head Coach Roy Rana and program look ahead to this summer for another berth at the 2017 World’s, competing with 7 other nations at the 2016 FIBA Americas qualifier in Valdivia, Chile between July 19th and 23rd. Note that this event, which includes only those players born in 1998 and later, occurs several weeks after the 2016 U-17 Worlds (for players born in 1999 and later). While Canada Basketball has not published even a preliminary list of invitees, the possibility exists that players who participate in the U-17 Worlds could potentially also be included on the roster for U-18 FIBA Americas qualifier. Stay tuned.
Among the coaches expected to join Rana on his staff is Manitoba’s Kirby Schepp. Rana will have a busy summer after his one-year sabbatical, returning to lead CIS Bronze medal winning Ryerson Rams in the fall.
In the recently-released draw for FIBA Americas 2016 U-18 qualifier, Canada will play in Group A, by far the most difficult group, along with Argentina, Brazil and Dominican Republic. Group B has Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, the U.S.A. and the host Chileans.
While there has been no roster releases or official discussions, here are some notable Canadian players with international and/or NCAA Division 1 potential born in 1998 that could be considered:
6’6″ Abu Kigab (St. Catharines, ON, St. Francis/Prolific Prep (Ca.))
6’1″ Lindell Wigginton (Halifax, NS, Oak Hill Academy)
5’9″ Jordan Henry (Pickering Pine Ridge)
6’8″ O’Shae Brissett (Toronto, Findlay Prep)
6’3″ Jahvon Blair (Brampton, ON/Athlete’s Institute)
6’7″ Isaiah Mike (Scarborough, ON/Trinity International (Las Vegas)/committed to Duquesne)
6’7″ Aher Uguak (Edmonton, ALTA/Harry Ainlay/committed to New Mexico).