Team USA’s neighbors to the north are ready to crash the international stage. In fact, Canada may have the best collection of individual talent outside of the United States.
Canada’s results on the world stage have never been anything special. The country’s best finish in the World Cup was sixth place, a result they achieved twice, but both times were more than four decades ago. They haven’t finished in the top 8 of a global competition since the 2000 Summer Olympics.
But the team was dominant in the qualifiers, winning 11 of its 12 competitions. Despite being ranked 15th in the world, it feels like it’s time for a major breakthrough.
Just behold the NBA talent on that roster: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Lu Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell – that’s not enough the full list. Add Purdue big man Zach Edey, and this team looks scary on the court.
Oshae Brissett has pulled out of the competition. Murray, meanwhile, has been sidelined during the tune-up games.
Even without Andrew Wiggins, Shaedon Sharpe, and Benedict Mathurin, Canada is absolutely stacked. A lot of those players are young and will keep growing on the international stage. The country is requiring three-year commitments to maintain continuity through the years.
There’s been no better time for Canada to shine than this summer. It’s time for the Canadians to join their American counterparts near the top of the international basketball stage.