Biggest Takeaways from Canada’s run in the FIBA U19 World Cup, falling short in quarterfinals.

Although it wasn’t the desired outcome, there were some positives Canada can look to that point to a brighter future for the Program.

First, you always have to give props to the players that decided to commit and represent for their country. They put a pause on their summer schedules in order to go out and compete for something bigger than themselves. As we all know FIBA style ball is different, but playing in unfamiliar circumstances will surely boost the confidence of these players and further develop them for the next stages of their career, considering a lot of them will be playing FIBA style ball either in the CEBL or overseas.

Everyone had a role to play on this team. Some were brought in to score, some were brought in to defend & rebound, some were brought in to initiate the offence. Some did a little bit of everything. Certain players excelled in their role and were a focal point for the team game in & game out.

University of Miami Commit Mike Nwoko is ready to make an immediate impact in the ACC.

[photo courtesy of Canada Basketball]

NBA personnel are going to learn about him quickly if they haven’t already. 6’10 big man who plays with power, aggression, athleticism and great mobility. One of the sweetest inside touches I’ve seen in a while. Real back-to-basket and low-post game which will add a whole new dimension to the Hurricanes offence this year.

Xaivian Lee is going to put the NCAA on notice this year.

[photo courtesy of Canada Basketball]

Was easily the most consistent contributor for Canada in this tournament. The incredibly skilled and poised Princeton Guard is going into his Sophomore season. Ready to build off the momentum from both a strong freshman campaign combined with his production for Canada Basketball u19s.

Elijah Fisher committing to Depaul was a great move.

[photo courtesy of Canada Basketball]

For someone who’s been in the spotlight since he was 14 years old, he’s seemed to never let the attention phase him. He just wants to compete. That’s one thing that’s never in question with Elijah: his competitive spirit. Now showcasing his defensive & athletic capabilities on the global stage once again (played with the u19s before as a 17 year old) he’s proving to everyone just who he is, and that’s a player who is still a serious NBA prospect.

Everything considered, I do believe there were a lot of high level Canadian talent that were left off this team for various reasons (aau travel schedule, other commitments, or simply overlooked). I refuse to believe the strongest team we can put together would lose by 20+ points on multiple occasions.
Next up we can look to the FIBA World Cup this August/September in the Philippines which we can have high hopes for with many of our NBA stars committing already. Time will tell.

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