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Olynyk to captain Canadian men’s basketball team at 2024 Paris Olympics



Olynyk to captain Canadian men’s basketball team at 2024 Paris Olympics

Kelly Olynyk (right) in practice with Canada’s basketball team. (Photo via Canada Basketball)

Canada has unveiled its Olympic men’s basketball team and to no surprise, Kelly Olynyk will be one of the 12 players hoping to bring back a gold medal.

Olynyk – the South Kamloops Secondary graduate – is hoping to captain the team to its first Olympic gold medal, bettering the silver won at the 1936 games in Berlin.

“Leading our Senior Men’s National Team into the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is an incredible honour,” said Olynyk. “Since I began playing basketball, my dream has always been to represent Canada at the Olympics.”

“Last year’s third-place finish at the FIBA World Cup was an important step, proving that we belong among the world’s best teams. However, it also showed us that we still have work to do as we pursue our ultimate goal of winning gold in Paris.”

Canada’s roster – which also features Oklahoma City star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Denver guard Jamal Murray, and RJ Barrett who plays alongside Olynyk for the Toronto Raptors – is heavy on NBA experience, with 11 players having spent time in the world’s premier basketball league.

This is Canadian men’s basketball team’s first Olympic appearance since they were beaten by France in the quarterfinals at the 2000 Sydney Games.

“When we opened camp in Toronto last week, I challenged each of the players to improve one percent each day, and every day since I’ve witnessed the work and dedication they have put in,” Head Coach Jordi Fernández.

“From the players to the coaches to the staff, the incredible opportunity ahead of us to do something truly historic for Canada this summer is not lost on anyone.”

Canada will open up the group phase at the Paris Olympics against Greece on July 27 before playing Australia on July 30 and Spain on Aug. 2.

The six group winners and runners-up will qualify for the knockout stages along with the two best third place teams, with the medal games scheduled for Aug. 10.

The full 12-player roster is as follows:

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Toronto, Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)
RJ Barrett, Mississauga, Ont., Toronto Raptors (NBA)
Khem Birch, Montreal, Bàsquet Girona (Spain/Liga)
Dillon Brooks, Mississauga, Ont., Houston Rockets (NBA)
Luguentz Dort, Montreal, Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)
Melvin Ejim, Toronto, Unicaja (Spain/Liga)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamilton, Ont., Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)
Trey Lyles, Saskatoon, Sask., Sacramento Kings (NBA)
Jamal Murray, Kitchener, Ont., Denver Nuggets (NBA)
Andrew Nembhard, Aurora, Ont., Indiana Pacers (NBA)
Kelly Olynyk, Kamloops, B.C., Toronto Raptors (NBA)
Dwight Powell, Toronto, Dallas Mavericks (NBA)

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