Photo by Henry Romero /Reuters

Photo by Henry Romero /Reuters

Corey Joseph and Tyler Ennis headline the roster Canada Basketball announced today for the Senior Men’s team tryout list, with the final 12-man roster competing in Manilla, Philippines for Olympic qualifiers.

Name Position Height HometownTeam/School
Shai AlexanderGuard 6'4 Hamilton, ONHamilton Heights Christian Academy
Joel Anthony Forward6'9Montreal, QCDetroit Pistons
RJ BarrettGuard6’7Mississauga, ONMontverde Academy
Sim BhullarForward7'5 Toronto, ONRaptors 905
Dillon Brooks Forward6'7 Mississauga, ON Oregon Ducks
Chris BoucherForward6'10 Montreal, ONOregon Ducks
Jason CallisteGuard 6'2 Toronto, ON Barons Kvartals Riga
Melvin EjimForward6'6 Toronto, ONReyer Venezia
Tyler EnnisGuard 6'2 Brampton, ONMilwaukee Bucks
Brady Heslip Guard 6'2 Burlington, ONPallacanestro Cantu
Tyson HinzForward6’7 Ottawa, ON Landstede Basketball
Cory JosephGuard 6'3 Pickering, ONToronto Raptors
Corey Johnson Guard 6’5 Ottawa, ONHarvard University
Owen Klassen Forward 6'10 Kingston, ONPhoenix Hagen
Levon Kendall Forward 6'10 Vancouver, BC Movistar Estudiantes
Naz Mirtou-Long Guard 6’4 Mississauga, ON Iowa St. Cyclones
Dyshawn PierreGuard 6'6 Whitby, ONDayton Flyers
Philip Scrubb Guard 6'3 Ottawa, ON Fraport Skyliners
Thomas Scrubb Guard 6'6 Ottawa, ONGiessen 46ers

Most notably absent from the roster are the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Nik Stauskas, and Andrew Nicholson. According to Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wiggins announced he will not be participating in Team Canada events this year, instead focusing on his upcoming season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kelly Olynyk already announced his absence from Canada’s Olympic events after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason.

Photo by Alfredo Estrella/Getty Images

Photo by Alfredo Estrella/Getty Images

Tristan Thompson, meanwhile is still in the thick of things with the Cavaliers, with the Cavs taking Game 3 against Golden State to put the series at 2-1 in favour of the Warriors.

“Given the time of year, player availability is always changing. We’re continuing to talk to teams and players may become available as the summer progresses,” said Steve Nash, general manager, men’s national team. “Playing for your country is an honour, we have a deep pool of talent who are committed to playing for Canada and we’re ready to get to work.”

The group starts a six day training camp today at the Air Canada Centre. Afterwards the squad will head to Italy June 17th, where they will partake in a 5-game exhibition tournament against 12th-ranked Croatia, 14th-ranked China and 16th-ranked Puerto Rico. 

In July the team heads to Manilla in hopes of qualifying for the Olympics, where they will face 31st-ranked Senegal and 8th-ranked Turkey in Group A. Group B features The Philippines, France and New Zealand. 

Sean Marranca

Written by Sean Marranca

Sean Marranca is an NPH Correspondent covering Canadian Basketball from high school to the NBA. Follow him on Twitter @Sean_NPH


19 thoughts on “Men’s National Team Tryout List Announced

  1. Robert Bertuzzi says:

    This roster is a tire fire.

    What a disgrace.

    Golden generation my arse.

    Sad that Manu and Luis Scola will suit up, but 22-year-olds won’t.

    What happened to no one saying no to Steve Nash?

  2. Paul Gleason says:

    This is embarrassing to Basketball Canada. Canada has the second most players in the NBA by country but yet we have only three coming to training camp. Where are these players? After the loss last year in the qualifier and this disgrace the coaching and management of this process needs to be re-examined.

    1. Stewart says:

      Yes, I said this last year, I am afraid it’s time to hire a new head coach, it is clear that Jay has lost this team and was badly out coached last year.

      If Nash won’t make the change than unfortunately we will need a new GM too.

      You have to stamp out the nepotism now because it is clear that Nash is just to good of friends to let his old coach go.

      We gave Triano a decent shot and as always, he came up a little bit short like he always has.

      Now we have a full fledged disaster on our hands at this point. Maybe if Nash temporarily steps in to help coach..but we have likely blown the next few years with this group and I knew this could happen right from the day the named Triano as the head coach.

      They need to do what every team does, through some money at either Kalapari or Bill Self, I.e. a top Us college coach or NBA coach to get these players back.

  3. Hasan Alanam says:

    Players missing from the list:

    Andrew Wiggins
    Trey Lyles
    Andrew Nicholson
    Kelly Olynyk
    Dwight Powell
    Nik Stauskas
    Robert Sacre
    Tristan Thompson
    Andrew Wiggins
    Olivier Hanlan
    Khem Birch

    Not a good look for the men’s program.

    1. Stewart says:

      Well true the list of missing players is long, and we did not include Jamal Murray either who was technically also not invited bit could potentially still join up later if the team that drafts him gives permission.

      However a few of these guys are free agents and both Jamal and Kyle Wiltzier are busy with the draft.

      Hopefully we are able to add atleast 2 to 3 more players who are either free agents, still playing, (I.e. Tristan Thompson) or Jamal Murray.

      I am not sure why Olivier Hanlen was left off because we could really use the scoring now.

      But the good new is that of they can get Tristan Thompson, Jamal Murray and one of the 3-4 NBA free agents to play they would still actually have a decent team with some potential for an upset.

      If not, than its time to start thinking about naturalizing good foreign players that want the opportunity to play for a great country and one day compete for a medal.

      Players such as Kyle Lowry, Bismak Biyombo..etc..that are quality players with no current role with a solid, contending national team program.

      One just needs to look at the Philippines to see this can work…

  4. Andrarchy says:

    Not to mention Anthony Bennett. Last time I checked he was still a pretty good basketball player and now he isn’t making this team’s 19 player tryout list.

    1. Hasan says:

      Ya Bennett too. But he is trying to a land a deal for next season by going to mini free agent camps with various teams (Knicks being one), so I’m not sure if he has time to come to the training camp.

  5. mjfan83 says:

    First, all the above comments are spot on, well done and well said. This is absolutely shocking and someone should get on ESPN or some major US network player and BLAST these kids. Furthermore, are these guys even considering how valuable this experience can be? I’m sure they are getting alot more advice from their agents as opposed to their parents. I mean the prospect of playing for your country at the Olympic Games! That is something very few humans ever get a chance to do, and in my eyes, as a basketball junkie, is easily on par with winning an NBA title (extremely unlikely). Now one might contend that these kids are mortgaging their futures, RUBBISH. The odds of a career ending injury are miniscule, and for the majority of these guys, an Olympic berth, along with confidence and pride, also provides valuable experience playing against savvy, talented, mature men. You gain exposure and are yourself privvy to new styles, nuances and game plans from teams spanning the globe. Nash himself changed his career by leading team Canada. I have a good feeling some these guys were throughly embaressed last summer. When you can bring a team of NBA talent, numerous lotto picks, and cant past the likes of MEX VEN and depleted ARG and BRZ, something, be it, coach, chemistry, players, is very wrong. The list of players who are not competing would crush the team of guys who will end up getting selected, terrible.
    Lastly, for the guys thinking, hey in 4 years Ill play. Youll leave that.tournament, wishing you built the chemistry, gained the experience and kicked started the program 4 years earlier, knowing then, you might not get another shot.

  6. Ryan Csada says:

    I agree, time for new leadership.

  7. Archer says:

    I have to agree with many of the above comments and am not a huge fan of Jay T. as a head coach (think he would be great as an assistant though know he would never go for this) however we need to cut the no-shows some slack. Olynck is having shoulder surgery, and many of the others gave a lot last summer with the Pan-ams and the Olympic qualifier. The NBA season is long and these guys gotta rest. To not do so would be compromising their NBA obligations- the upcoming training camp, exhibition games and tournament (and possibly the Olympics) would make for a very short break. This is just the reality and this die was cast with the loss in the qualifier last year. Having said that, would have liked to see Kyle Wiltjer (but JT burnt that bridge last year) and Kevin Pangos there, they would have added a lot. Anyway, good experience for the younger players and Canada will have to look towards the world championships to showcase their best- hopefully.

  8. chris says:

    We don’t know who, exactly, will be on this team but when we do, I hope all the posters here will give the Canadian team their full support. Qualification this summer was always a long shot after the FIBA tournament (although it worked for the Canadian women in 2012). Players are never going to be forced to play for Canada, nor should they; it’s really nobody’s business but theirs. And enlisting a US college coach will not make participation more likely.

  9. Robert Bertuzzi says:

    @Archer Injuries and free agency, whether for NBA or European players, provides a legitimate rationale for not playing.

    But Lyles, 20, Wiggins, 21, and Stauskas, 22, all had their respective seasons conclude in the middle of April. That means their offseason is roughly 5.5 months long. Dirk always seemed to play for Germany despite the heavy load he had to carry for the Mavs year over year. Same for Manu when he was in his prime. Even a fringe NBA player like Carlos Arroyo who always had to worry about a next job always seemed to suit up for Puerto Rico. The examples go on and on, the Gasols for Spain, etc.

    Lyles averaged 17 minutes a game, and Stauskas, 25 per game. Only Wiggins played a burdensome amount of minutes at nearly 36 per contest.

    Wiggins is only too happy to invoke Canada when trying to sell the shitty sports drink he endorses by wearing a uniform that is red-and-white in the commercial. I don’t think that is a coincidence that the ad execs would want to play on nationalist/patriotic sentiment to sell their crappy commodity. But when it comes time to represent the country in a non-commercial way the best his handlers can offer is an excuse about preparing for a championship run with the Timberwolves.

    If he was so concerned about skills development previously, then maybe he should not have played in hundreds of useless AAU games. Alternatively, having a dad as an ex-NBA player should have resulted in him learning how to dribble a basketball in a manner other than a straight line drive to the rim dependent on his explosive first step.

    The absolute total time commitment to the national team this summer would have been 2.5 months from the start of training camp to the gold medal game in Rio–an unlikely outcome. That would still have left 3 months for rest, relaxation, and to dribble around orange cones in private workouts with a trainer. So I don’t quite understand the apologetics of Archer and Chris.

    This is especially so in light of the comments Wiggins made last year about the importance of playing in the Olympics as a means of honouring his mother and/or following in her footsteps. The problem with spin is that it often gets recorded for posterity, and when there is a gap between words and deeds, as a public figure, you have to live with the consequences of being called out on your bullshit.

    If he had just said I don’t care about representing Canada in athletic endeavours I would have had much more respect for such a stance. All too often, throughout the 20th century, nationalism was used as a catalyst and to cultivate the worst aspects of human character. This includes the Olympic games movement in the example of Berlin 1936, but also in its more banal manifestations. So, in the end, maybe it is not a bad thing if people refuse to participate in such ideological spectacles. But of course, his agent, advisors, etc wish to maintain his marketability in a country of 35 millions potential consumers for goods he might endorse. When such contradictions finally come up against one another one can expect blowback. He now has to live with that uncomfortableness. And I hope reporters from all media outlets will pose these types of difficult questions when the T-Wolves come to Toronto for their annual game.

  10. Archer says:

    @Bertuzi: If team Canada made the Olympics they would be playing from now til mid-August. That’s a big commitment and can’t fault these guys after giving so much time last summer. Unlike hockey where they shut-down the NHL for a couple of weeks and the players go and play a a handful of games , the summer Olympics is a 2 summer commitment and a longer one at that. I mean even the US guys don’t necessarily rush to play even though they always receive an automatic bid (winning world championships) and they are pretty much guanteed a gold medal if they play.

    Having said that, great to see Curtis J signing-up (and hopefully Tristan T can make the tournament) and hopefully this type of commitment isn’t lost on the press and public. Also I do believe that bringing in a high profile NBA or NCAA coach would spark a greater degree of interest from NBA guys, but who knows.

    1. Stewart says:

      Actually no they would not be playing until mid August.

      If Wiggins/Stauskous/Lyles/Thompson etc chose to play for Canada they would be playing basketball in early July and be done by the 10the of July the latest.

      But if they were to qualify than they would likely come back 10 to 12 days before the games to prepare.

      Exceptions could also be made for the Thompson’s, Wiggins’ of the team because of thier schedules and reduce their total commitments down to roughly 10-12 days in late June/July and to 3 weeks in August during the Olympics.

      What do you think these guys will be doing during most of the summer anyways.??

      These guys will likely be playing half of thier summer anyways so why not for Canada??

      So far James and Durant are playing again for the US, so why these guys but not the young Canadians who had thier seasons end 2 months earlier..?

  11. Darren Apels says:

    Canadian Basketball needs a makeover. You have basketball players but you have no killers. This is why canada never makes the olympics.

  12. JFR says:

    It’s disappointing to be sure to have a lot of our NBA guys not playing. That being said. I like the mix of youth with vets who’ve played lots of FIBA ball (ie Levon Kendall or Joel Anthony). I think if this team can play a run and gun style it could be very fun to watch as a lot of these dudes can straight up shoot the ball and maybe there will be some surprises. Where’s Andrew Nicholson also.

    1. Stewart says:

      Yes Andrew Nicholson is also a free agent, unfortunately a lot of Canadian regulars are free agents, in the draft or injured this year.

      This does look horrible from the outside but really only 3 possibly 4 players deserve to be blamed for not showing up this July.

      In order of disappointment,

      1) Andrew Wiggins – just not feeling it this year?
      2) Trey Lyle’s – also just not in the mood this year even though he hasn’t played for Canada in over 3 years
      3) Nik Stauskous – Again just not in the mood.
      4) Tristan Thompson – is still playing but hopefully will decide to join up with team Canada before Manila, but it is tough to completely blame a guy who is still playing late in June
      5) The rest are either free agents, injured or in the draft process.

      However it would be great to see a Jamal Murray or Tristan Thompson join up later in the month if they chose to come play in July as well as 1 free agent like Nicholson or Powell for depth.

      If you take this team which now has Bennett and add a Tristan Thompson, Jamal Murray and either Powell or Nicholson, than even without Wiggins or Stauskous they could still qualify in Manila.

      This is the most optimistic view for sure, but with Bennett just being added late today, it is possible to see 1 to 2 late NBA additions to this team which gives them a chance against the other teams trying to qualify for Manila because both France and Turkey will be missing a few of thier best Players aswell.

      Everybody cross their fingers for Thompson and Murray because in my opinion there is still hope for these guys to join late and both can dramatically improve this team.

  13. WS says:

    Khem Birch has joined the team and I think is better than most people think. He has improved drastically in the last 2 years – he was very good this last year for Usik in Turkey and just signed a lucrative contract with Greek powerhouse and Euroleague team Panathinaikos.
    At this point in time I would consider him better than Ejim, Sacre and Lyles. Maybe better or on par with Powell and Bennett. Far, far better than Kendall or Joel Anthony.
    He will be very good center for a quick, athletic, running team…which should be our model considering the roster above.

    Remember because you are in the NBA doesn’t mean you are better than many EuroLeague guys. Often is is the fit to the team, your role or potential that find you in the NBA. Especially in FIBA ball a good Euroleague player is more valuable than a 10th or 12th man in the NBA.

  14. WS says:

    Bah….I meant Birch signed with Olympiacos.

    I was just reading that Kevin Pangos is in negotiations with Panathinaikos and it messed with my head.

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