Saturday July 16 2011 – 1:18am Eastern – Toronto, ON
The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team tipped off Phase 1 of their 2011 Training Camp on Friday evening and there were a few notable additions — a few surprising absences as well — on the roster.
Gone from this year’s team are:
Head coach, Leo Rautins, has opted to look at some fresh blood instead.
Unfortunately, the injection of new faces will not include Tristan Thompson – the highest Canadian ever drafted into the NBA. Word is that Thompson, who was selected 4th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers this past summer, has expressed interest in playing for Team Canada in the very near future but Rautins says it won’t be this year.
“Tristan is not going to play,” he said. “The whole draft process took its toll and (Tristan) would like to take some summer classes as well.”
But Thompson’s close friend and former collegiate teammate, Cory Joseph, may be donning the red and white very soon.
Though his name did not originally appear on the Training Camp Roster, Rautins explained to me Joseph could be training with the team at Ryerson as early as next week.
“We’re trying to figure out…finalize the insurance and (Cory) has given every indication he’d like to play,” said Rautins. “We’re hoping that can happen soon.”
Sources indicated that the insurance is all-but done, it’s simply a matter of crossing a few T’s and dotting a few I’s at this point. So, barring an unforeseen setback, fans should expect to see Joseph in camp by early-to-mid next week. In fact, though the Spurs are not allowed to comment on any of their players (due to the NBA Lockout / on-going Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations), sources have said that San Antonio may have been quietly hoping that Joseph suited up for Canada — to get a little more schooling and experience in preparation for his rookie season with Gregg Popovich and Co.
Speaking of the NBA … Canada’s biggest ‘name’ and biggest question mark, Joel Anthony, IS going to play for his homeland this summer.
There were major doubts that Canada Basketball would be able to come up with enough money to securely insure the $14+ million Anthony has remaining on his current contract with the Miami Heat. But apparently that hurdle has been cleared and Anthony will lead the Canadians into the FIBA Americas Championship in August/September.
“We’ve taken care of the insurance issues,” said Rautins – who admitted that the process hasn’t been completely finalized as of yet. “He (Joel) wasn’t going to play in the 1st phase of Training Camp anyway, but to show you what kind of pro he is, he’s already in camp. He wants to be here to go through all of our offences and (plays) wants to be up to speed. He’ll even participate in some drills and non-contact stuff.”
Phase one of camp started on Friday evening and it will wrap up next Saturday before the team leaves for 2 weeks of exhibition games in France, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Phase two doesn’t start for the Canadians until August 12 so Rautins believes there is no reason to think that Anthony’s insurance won’t be finalized by then – if not much sooner.
The good news continues to roll in as well … as insurance has been secured for New York Knicks guard, Andy Rautins (who still has 2 years remaining on his contract with NYK). Coach Rautins said his son is healthy and ready to go.
Matt Bonner (San Antonio Spurs) has still not be able to secure his Canadian citizenship, so he will not be representing Canada this summer. He remains hopeful of doing so very soon though.
Canada will be missing two more familiar faces this summer … as Kris Joseph recently underwent knee surgery and is physically not able to play and Robert Sacre is “trying to get his body and game ready for his final (NCAA) year” according to Rautins.
“It’s been a tough year for him,” said Rautins.
The FIBA Americas run from Aug 30 – Sept 11 in Argentina.
Here’s the Training Camp Roster for Team Canada (*not including Cory Joseph):
|Jermaine Anderson||Guard||6’2||Toronto, ON||Panionios (Greece)|
|Joel Anthony||Centre||6’9||Montreal, QC||Miami (NBA)|
|Mangisto Arop||Guard||6’5||Edmonton, AB||Gonzaga University (NCAA)|
|Antwi Atuahene||Guard||6’3||Mississauga, ON||Leones (Mexico)|
|Denham Brown||Guard||6’5||Toronto, ON||Dnipro (Ukraine)|
|Murphy Burnatowski||Forward||6’6||Waterloo, ON||University of Maine (NCAA)|
|Aaron Doornekamp||Forward||6’7||Odessa, ON||Caserta (Italy)|
|Carl English||Guard||6’5||St. John’s NL||DKV Joventut (Spain)|
|Jeff Ferguson||Center||6’11||Toronto, ON||Edmonton (IBL)|
|Brady Heslip||Guard||6’2||Burlington, ON||Baylor University (NCAA)|
|Levon Kendall||Forward||6’10||Vancouver, BC||Obradorio (Spain)|
|Nemanja Mitrovic||Guard||6’5||Toronto, ON||University of Portland (NCAA)|
|Kelly Olynyk||Forward||6’11||Kamloops, BC||Gonzaga University (NCAA)|
|Andy Rautins||Guard||6’5||Syracuse, NY||New York (NBA)|
|Jevohn Shepherd||Forward||6’6||Toronto, ON||Frankfurt (Germany)|
|Jamie Vanderbeken||Forward||6’11||Belleville, ON||Iowa State University (NCAA)|
|Jesse Young||Center||6’10||Peterborough, ON||Banca Tercas (Italy)|