TORONTO,ON– First round draft pick of the San Antonio Spurs in the 2011 NBA Draft, Cory Joseph (Pickering, ON) will make his debut with the Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT), as he will suit up this summer to compete in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship for Men in Argentina.
“First off, it’s an honour to play for your country and I’m excited to get on the floor and represent Canada as best as I can,” said Joseph, who first represented Canada in 2007. “I know we have a young, great group, with Joel (Anthony), (Carl) English and (Andy) Rautins coming in. I think it’s going to be a fun experience and I am excited to play with guys I already know, like Denham (Brown). Hopefully we come back with the gold, but if not, qualify for the Olympics.”
Joseph will join the SMNT for Phase 2 of their summer long training camp, which starts Friday, August 12 at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Joseph first suited up for Canada in 2007 as a 15 year old, when he was the youngest member of the Junior Men’s National Team that competed at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Serbia. He played in all eight games in the tournament, helping Canada to a 10th place finish. Two years later, Joseph played on the JMNT once again in the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship in New Zealand, helping lead Canada to a 7th place finish, which is Canada’s best result since 1984.
Joseph will play his first game in a Canadian uniform since 2009 on August 13 at Ryerson University (Toronto) and August 14 at McMaster University (Hamilton), when Canada hosts Belgium in the Jack Donohue International Classic.
“It’s going to be fun,” says Joseph, who was raised in the Greater Toronto Area. “Everyone wants to play in front of your friends and family and it’s always fun to come back and play at home. I’ve played in the States for a long time, so it’s going to feel really good coming home and playing in front of friends and family.”
As a freshman at the University of Texas in the 2010-2011 season, Joseph enjoyed a great year playing for Head Coach Rick Barnes, starting all 36 games for the Longhorns. He was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team and was also an All-Big 12 Honourable Mention.
Joseph will join Miami Heat centre, Joel Anthony (Montreal, QC), National Team veteran, Carl English (St. John’s, NL) and Alex Hartman (Portland, OR) for Phase 2, as four additions to the team that recently finished competing in Europe.
Anthony recently completed his fourth season in the NBA. This season, as the starting centre, he helped the Heat to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.
English was enjoying his best professional season to date in Spain before it was cut short due to injury. In January, English was named the player of the month in the ACB, Spain’s top pro league.
Hartman played for Westsports KL last year in the ASEAN League in Malaysia. He enjoyed one of his best years as a professional, averaging 17.1 points for the Dragons.
All four players will participate in the Jack Donohue International Classic. Tickets for both games in Toronto and Hamilton and are still available and are only $10. More ticket information can be found at www.basketball.ca.
PHOTO COURTESY: THE DAILY TEXAN