Eight NBA players on Canada's team for its last-chance Tokyo Olympic qualifier

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VICTORIA — Eight NBA players have been named to arguably the most talented Canadian men's basketball team in history for this week's last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament.

The Canadians, who tip off Tuesday against Greece, must win the six-country tournament to clinch their first Olympic berth since the 2000 Games in Sydney.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans), RJ Barrett (New York), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City), Cory Joseph (Detroit), Trey Lyles (San Antonio), Mychal Mulder and Andrew Wiggins (Golden State), and Dwight Powell (Dallas) make up the NBA contingent.

The 12-man roster is rounded out by Trae Bell-Haynes, Anthony Bennett, Aaron Doornekamp, and Andrew Nicholson.

Purdue's Zach Edey and Gonzaga's Andrew Nembhard had been in camp but weren't on the final roster.

Edey is expected to be with the U19 team for the FIBA world championships in Latvia.

"Hosting the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament is a great occasion for basketball in our country and the team that's been selected to represent Canada this week is committed to our goal of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games," Rowan Barrett, GM of the senior men's program, said in a statement.

Canada faces China on Wednesday. Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey are in Group B. Each team plays the other teams in its group once, then the top two teams in each group will advance to Saturday's semis. The two semifinal winners meet Sunday, with the champion clinching a spot in Tokyo.

In addition to Canada, there are three other last-chance tournaments happening this week to determine the final spots, in Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia.

Canada is ranked No. 21 in the world.

The Canadian women's team, ranked fourth, booked its third consecutive Olympic berth back in February of 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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