Canada’s Senior Men to Face off Against Belgium, Jack Donohue Classic!

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TORONTO, ON– Canada Basketball has announced the schedule of the 2011 Jack Donohue International Classic (JDIC), which will showcase the Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT), also known as the “Road Warriors”. The SMNT will play a two-game series against Belgium on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, and on Sunday, August 14, 2011 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The games will act as a tune up event for the upcoming 2011 FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina later this summer.

“We are thrilled to bring international competition to Canadian soil,” said Maurizio Gherardini, Managing Director of Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team. “Both Ryerson and McMaster University have great facilities for world class competition; and the basketball fans in Toronto and Hamilton are excited for the opportunity to see Canada’s team before the FIBA Americas Championship.”

Tickets for both dates of the JDIC are on sale now. Tickets are $10 and are general admission seating. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $8 each. For more ticket information, please visit http://www.basketball.ca.

This summer marks the second year in a row that Canada’s SMNT will play games on home soil, and the first time that the Belgian National Team will play in Canada at the JDIC. Both rosters are still to be announced, but the Canadian squad will feature players with professional experience from around the world including Jermaine Anderson (Toronto, ON), who starred in Greece and Russia this year and Carl English (St. John’s, NL), who played for DKV Joventut in Spain.

The roster also hopes to have a growing presence in the NBA, which includes Andy Rautins (Syracuse, NY) of the New York Knicks and the starting centre for the Miami Heat, Joel Anthony (Montreal, QC). “Our team is eager to play in front of passionate Canadian basketball fans once again at home, as we prepare for a busy summer of training for the FIBA Americas,” said Leo Rautins, Head Coach of the Senior Men’s National Team. “We have a core group of guys coming back this year looking forward to playing in front of friends and family before heading out to Argentina. We are grateful that Team Belgium is willing to participate in the Jack Donohue International Classic as we train and continue to build our program.”

The JDIC will be the opening test for the SMNT in their second phase of training, as they prepare for the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship. In the first phase of training they will play exhibition games in France, Italy and the Czech Republic. This summer’s FIBA Americas Championship will also serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. The top two teams from Argentina will qualify for the Olympics; while those nations that finish third, fourth and fifth will be sent to a secondary Olympic qualifying tournament, which will be held closer to the Olympic Games.

This is the 5th anniversary of the JDIC and first time it will be hosted by Ryerson University; while it makes its third appearance at McMaster University. Last summer, the SMNT enjoyed a successful JDIC, defeating China at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia and France on consecutive nights at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, as a tune-up for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. Overall, the SMNT carries an impressive record of 6-1 at the JDIC heading into this summer’s competition, having split games with New Zealand and beating Lebanon twice in 2008.

For more information, please visit http://www.basketball.ca.

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