Canada men’s basketball to play China in B.C. next month

Inaugural Pacific Rim Basketball Classic to help prepare team for FIFA Basketball World Cup 2019

Some of Canada’s best basketball players are coming to British Columbia this summer when the men’s national team plays a doubleheader against China in the Pacific Rim Basketball Classic next month.

It’s been eight years since B.C. hosted an international competition that included the senior men’s basketball team, and fans will get two opportunities to see some of the country’s biggest and brightest stars play in Vancouver on June 22 and in Victoria on June 24.

“Some of the fondest memories of my basketball career are from all the years I spent playing and coaching in British Columbia,” said Jay Triano, coach of the Senior Men’s National Team.

“Vancouver and Victoria have some of the most passionate basketball fans in the country and we’re excited to bring our team back to the West Coast.”

Triano played at Simon Fraser University from 1977-1981, before coaching at his alma mater from 1988-1995. He has spent much of the past 16 years coaching in the NBA with Toronto, Portland and Phoenix.

The two-game event will help the Canadian national team prepare to qualify for the upcoming FIBA basketball world cup, where the 2019 edition will see the top seven teams automatically qualify for the next Olympic Games.

Canada Basketball also announced the list of 18 players that will form the roster for the qualifying games. The list includes NBA players like Kelly Olynyk of the Miami Heat and Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers, plus players from Europe and the NBA G League.

The most notable player not on the list is Andrew Wiggins, who was picked first overall in the 2014 NBA draft and went on to win rookie of the year with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Tickets start at $20 for the Rogers Arena game in Vancouver and go on sale to the general public Thursday, May 31, at 10:00 a.m. Tickets for the Victoria game, at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will also go on sale at the same time.

– With files from Canadian Press

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