B.C.’s Kelly Olynyk among 6 NBA players for World Cup qualifying

Canada, which went 5-1 through the first round of qualifying, faces Brazil on Sept. 13

Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson and Miami’s Kelly Olynyk are among the six NBA players on Canadian coach Roy Rana’s training camp roster for next week’s FIBA World Cup qualifying game against Brazil.

The two are joined by Khem Birch and Justin Jackson (Orlando Magic), Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies), and Cory Joseph (Indiana Pacers).

Canada, which went 5-1 through the first round of qualifying, faces Brazil on Sept. 13 in Laval, Que.

Rana, also the coach of the Ryerson Rams, takes over head coaching duties from Jay Triano for the September and February qualifying windows.

“Always honoured to answer the call to represent my country in international competition and I’m looking forward to the journey with our family on the floor,” Rana said in a release.

Brazil (5-1), Venezuela (5-1), and Chile (1-5) were the top three teams in Group B in the first round. In Canada’s Group D, the Dominican Republic (4-2) was second, while the U.S. Virgin Islands (2-4) was third. Those six teams formed Group F.

Canada faces Brazil, Chile and Venezuela in three home-and-away series.

“As the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas qualifiers continue, the program depth we’ve been building over the years will be crucial for the success of our team,” said Rowan Barrett, the assistant GM of the senior men’s program. “September’s games are an important step for Canada as we work towards our goal of qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.”

From the second round of qualifying, the three highest-placed teams from each group and the best fourth-placed team between Group E and Group F clinch berths in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, Aug. 31-Sept. 15, 2019.

A record 32 countries will play in the FIBA World Cup, which is the main qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Roster:

Joel Anthony, Montreal, San Lorenzo Basket (Argentina); Trae Bell-Haynes, Toronto, Fraport Skyliners (Germany); Aaron Best, Toronto, Raptors 905 (G-League); Khem Birch, Montreal, Orlando Magic; Dillon Brooks, Mississauga, Ont., Memphis Grizzlies; Manny Diressa, Toronto, KK FMP (Serbia); Melvin Ejim, Toronto, BC UNICS (Russia); Joel Friesen, Abbotsford, B.C., London Lightning (NBL Canada); Brady Heslip, Burlington, Ont., Fraport Skyliners (Germany); Justin Jackson, Toronto, Orlando Magic; Cory Joseph, Toronto, Ont., Indiana Pacers; Kaza Kajami-Keane, Ajax, Ont., Landstede Zwolle (Netherlands); Kyle Landry, Calgary, Alta., Buducnost (Montenegro); Duane Notice, Woodbridge, Ont., BM Slam Stal (Poland); Kelly Olynyk, Kamloops, B.C., Miami Heat; Kevin Pangos, Newmarket, Ont., FC Barcelona Lassa (Spain); Dyshawn Pierre, Whitby, Ont., Banco di Srd (Italy); Tristan Thompson, Brampton, Ont., Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Canadian Press

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