Canada is set to enter its "Golden Age" of basketball. The stars that grew up watching Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady on those young Raptors are about to come of age and make their mark in the NBA. The talk about Andrew Wiggins has already gotten everyone pumped. And Team Canada has already added Jay Triano as a head coach and Steve Nash as a general manager/ambassador for the team.
Throw on top the influx of talent which includes the aforementioned Wiggins and 2013 first overall pick Anthony Bennett, and Canada is a train that is coming.
One of the players that can be included in Canada's "Golden Age" is Magic forward Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson made his national team debut with Canada in a 81-72 win over Jamaica on Thursday. Nicholson scored nine points on 4-for-12 shooting and grabbed four rebounds for Canada in the win. The Toronto Sun article said Nicholson struggled with the more physical play typical of FIBA games.
That has been something that has been a sticking point for improvement for Nicholson throughout the offseason. He has certainly gained weight and strength this offseason, but struggled at points during Summer League, averaging 10.8 points per game and 46.3 percent shooting.
Nicholson will have plenty of time to keep working on it. Like Nikola Vucevic with Montenegro, Nicholson will be playing for Team Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship in Caracas to help Canada try and qualify for next year's FIBA World Cup in Spain. That tournament starts August 30 when Nicholson and Canada play Jamaica.
The top four teams at the FIBA Americas Championship will qualify for the World Cup. The United States is not playing at this tournament having won the gold medal in London and getting an invite (not an automatic berth) for it -- also it will be silly for FIBA not to have the U.S. there.
Canada will have to compete with Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico for a spot at the World Cup. Venezuela, the host country, could also have a good shot at reaching the World Cup.
The next month will be a big one for a couple Magic players competing for their national teams.
It is certainly a proud time to be a Canadian basketball fan, although I do not approve with the choice of coach. I know Triano is a Canadian, but it does not mean that you have to hire him. He's not that great of a coach--he already proved that w/ the Raptors. For team Canada to be taken seriously in international , they need a coach that has the credential. You don't have to be a Canadian to coach in international play, I don't think.