The Canadian men’s team is clearly in good hands heading to 2019 World Cup
They knew back in 2012, Steve Nash and Rowan Barrett and Jay Triano did, that the path back to international men’s basketball relevance wasn’t going to come solely on the backs of Canada’s NBA players, that another tier of excellent players needed to be developed.
Depth would ultimately be the key to success, and making players of every ilk feel comfortable and welcome in the national men’s program was vital.
Take care of them, they thought, and the rewards could be significant.
That trio of Canadian basketball icons had a plan when they took over running the program six years ago — Nash as the overseer, Barrett as the on-the-ground general manager and Triano in his second go-round as the senior men’s head coach.
They had a play and worked it hard and they were rewarded Monday night when a group of Canadians routed Brazil in Brazil to earn Canada a berth in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, a return to the biggest global stage for the first time since 2010.
“Rowan came to me and had a singular vision of raising the level of service to our players and creating a winning culture and team,” Nash said in an electronic conversation with the Star on Monday, minutes after Canada had earned its spot in the World Cup in China next August.
“Just so proud of all the players, staff and supporters who’ve all played a part in sticking with this and watching this program grow. (A) just reward for all involved.”