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Rick Carlisle says Pacers guards Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard will be with Team Canada this summer

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Pacers guards Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard are expected to be involved with Team Canada this summer, according to Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle.

Canada qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but they have not released their roster for the event yet. It is possible that Nembhard and Mathurin could be with Team Canada and not on the official Olympic squad — which has not yet been confirmed, according to FIBA — but there is a chance they are playing in the games come July.

“Andrew Nembhard, I believe, is going to be with Team Canada. That’s going to be a great honor for him,” Carlisle said after the Pacers season ended. “I think [Bennedict] Mathurin will not be cleared to play for Team Canada, but he will be with the team. So he’ll be a part of that. That will be another great experience for those two young Canadian players.”

Mathurin has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and is still recovering. He discussed his rehab earlier this week, but as Carlisle laid out, he may not be ready to go by the time Team Canada proceedings begin this summer. Mathurin had interest in playing for Canada in the World Cup last year and has played for the squad before.

Nembhard finished the season healthy, though, and was terrific to close the playoffs for Indiana. He averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 assists per game for the Pacers in his second season, and he upped those numbers to 14.9 and 5.5, respectively, in the postseason. He has played for Team Canada before, including during the 2019 FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup.

“You’re seeing a young player that is tough minded,  resourceful, and highly competitive that is fearless and that has embraced these challenges. It’s not any accident that Team Canada has been trying to get him on board for the last two summers,” Carlisle said of Nembhard early last week.

Last season, the Pacers made history as the first NBA team to start three Canadian players in the same game when Nembhard, Mathurin, and Osahe Brissett were all in the opening five for a game against the Toronto Raptors. “It also speaks to what’s happening in Canada in terms of the development of great young talent. Pretty amazing, pretty breathtaking,” Carlisle noted at the time. “They’ve got Nick [Nurse] coaching the national team. That thing is in great hands. Really impressive. This country has become a real hotbed for basketball talent.” Indiana also briefly had Canadian guard Cory Joseph on the roster this season after a trade, but he was waived quickly.

The Olympics are set to begin on July 24. Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton will suit up for Team USA during the event, and forward Pascal Siakam was named to Cameroon’s 26-man preliminary squad for the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Latvia.

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