Wiggins Expected to Lead the Pack, Olympic qualifier Set for Canadians
Late this summer Canada will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for what would be their first appearance under the five rings since 2000.
Team Canada is expected to feature a roster with a depth of talent unseen in this country, including the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Kelly Olynyk, Nik Stauskas, Tyler Ennis, and Robert Sacre.
Wiggins is well on his way to winning Canada’s first NBA rookie of the year and Team Canada’s coach can see him stepping into a big role. “He can definitely be the leader,” Jay Triano told media following the official draw of pools for the competition.
But in order to qualify for the Olympics, Canada will have to win Silver or better at this FIBA Americas competition. It won’t be easy with a pool of skilled and experienced opponents awaiting them per Canada Basketball:
The preliminary rounds are set for the 2015 FIBA Americas Men’s Championship, which takes place in Monterrey, Mexico from August 25-September 6.
The official draw ceremony took place this afternoon at city hall. Officials from the FIBA Americas were onsite to make the selections: Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Canada will compete in Group B, with Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Uruguay in Group A.
The games will be held at the Arena de Monterrey in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The ten teams will compete over 13-days, with the champion and runner-up qualifying directly to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The last appearance Canada made at the FIBA Americas Championship was in 2013 where the team finished 6th. Ticket and schedule information will be announced in the coming months.
After a promising 2014 European Exhibition Tour, the Senior Men’s Team will first play on home-soil at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Ontario leading up to the FIBA Americas Championship. The games will be held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, full schedule here: http://www.toronto2015.org/0/basketball-schedule#men. Tickets will again be available for purchase mid-April.