NBA play­ers suit up for Canada’s World Cup bid

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS -

Kelly Olynyk of the Mi­ami Heat could have been try­ing to squeeze the last gasp out of sum­mer be­fore an­other long NBA sea­son tips off. In­stead, the 27-year-old from Kam­loops, B.C., and five other NBA play­ers prac­tised twice Mon­day in a Mon­treal univer­sity gym, lend­ing their tal­ents for the last time in Canada’s quest to se­cure a 2019 FIBA World Cup berth. “I al­ways love com­ing out here, sup­port­ing my coun­try and be­ing able to put on that jersey and rep­re­sent my coun­try when­ever I have the op­por­tu­nity,” Olynyk said. Tris­tan Thomp­son, Cory Joseph, Dil­lon Brooks, Khem Birch, and Justin Jack­son make up the rest of the half-dozen NBA play­ers on the Cana­dian con­tin­gent that in­cludes mostly play­ers toil­ing in Europe. Canada hosts Brazil Thurs­day in Laval, Que., to be­gin the sec­ond round of qual­i­fy­ing, then fly to Chile for a game on Sept. 17. This is the last qual­i­fy­ing win­dow in which Canada will have its NBA play­ers avail­able.

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