Sr. Team leaves for Europe with preliminary roster

After about a week of camp and the encouraging news of the arrival of 6’7″ Anthony Bennett and 6’9″ Khem Birch, followers of our Sr. National team program are much more encouraged by the group and the turnout.  There are still almost 3 weeks before the Turkey game in Manila and the roster is starting to take shape with the Euro exhibitions likely helping to bring more clarity to the final OQT roster.  Canada is likely to take 12 or 13 players to Croatia and Italy for their five game tour, including the youngest player ever to suit up for the Sr. National team (at least in the past 40 years or so) as 6’5″ R.J. Barrett, fresh through his 16th birthday earlier this week, who we are being told has been selected as one of the 12 to go to Europe.  Another young emerging talent that we introduced in our previous post who will also participate in this trip is 6’4″ Shai Alexander, the Florida Gator-bound guard originally from Hamilton.  While there is some question as to whether either will make the final 12 man roster for Manila (there is some rekindled talk of possible participation by Nik Stauskas, Kevin Pangos and Tristan Thompson), this trip is a wonderful opportunity for Barrett and Alexander to understand where they currently fit against older, more experienced international players.  The down side is that our U17’s are less likely to have Barrett, their most heralded player, for the FIBA Worlds in Spain which begin next week.  Still, 6’9″ Simi Shitti, who attended the Senior team camp this week however was not selected to travel with the Senior’s to Europe, is likely headed to France or Spain to join his U17 mates.  There was talk that 6’2″ Cory Joseph would remain home to get some rest in advance of Manila; however this has not been confirmed and he still may make the Europe trip.  The backcourt should be in capable hands with 6’1″ Tyler Ennis, 6’3″ Phil Scrubb and 6’3″ Brady Heslip.  Steady veteran 6’7″ Melvin Ejim is also a given.  Another CIS veteran 6’7″ Thomas Scrubb had an impressive week at the 3 spot and has also been asked to go.  6’6″ Dyshawn Pierre, the Dayton grad originally from Ajax, is also on the Europe roster.  Up front, 6’9″ Joel Anthony remains at home given the pending arrival of his new born so 6’11” Levon Kendall, the wily veteran and 7’5″ Sim Bhullar, who made a nice impression during last summer’s Pan-Am Games tournament will be up front.  Encouraging roster for Canada given the state of affairs just a couple of days ago.  There is growing interest in this campaign and don’t be surprised if this underdog group rallies around the flag and produces some surprises.  Here is the European tour schedule:

  • June 20: Game vs Croatia
  • June 23: Game vs Croatia
  • June 25: Game vs China
  • June 26: Game vs TBC
  • June 29: Game vs Puerto Rico.

Go Canada !


One thought on “Sr. Team leaves for Europe with preliminary roster

  1. Awesome updates by the way – this is the best media coverage on the national team that is out there.
    Main stream media is awful. Cripes – I think they may even be using you as a source.


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