The FIBA World Cup is just over a month and change away and national teams are getting ready for what should be an intense tournament. The event is set to take place from August 31st through September 15th. Training camps are opening or about to open across the world as teams get their preparations underway.
We won’t be seeing the same team compositions that battled it out in the regional qualifiers. This time around teams will be bolstered by players from the NBA and other professional leagues. We can expect a much higher level of talent and subsequently, competition in the actual World Cup.
One such team is Team Canada. 17 out of their 29 training camp invitees are from the NBA. They will be coached by Nick Nurse, coach of the recently minted NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors.
Headlining the list of big guns who were invited to participate is Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 18.2 points and 4.2 assists per game for them last season. The 22-year-old Ontario native will provide the team with a unique scoring punch. NBA rookies R.J. Barrett, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Summer League MVP Brandon Clarke will also be attending the camp.
Aside from these young cubs, some familiar faces will also be attending the camp. Veterans Kelly Olynyk and Tristan Thompson will be there to possibly reinforce the frontcourt of the team, should they make the final cut.
Andrew Wiggins is a notable absentee from the list of players as he’s decided to skip playing in the FIBA World Cup. His name was thrown around in trade rumors all summer. He may be wanting to work out some issues in his professional career right now. Even with Wiggins and his 18-plus points per game out of the picture, Basketball Canada will still have multiple weapons at their disposal.
This is just an example of the level of preparation that many teams all over the world are going through. The pressure is on and the anticipation is heating up. Buckle up, we’re going to be in for a fantastic FIBA World Cup.