Archive for August, 2011
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Wednesday August 31 2011 – 10:32pm Eastern – Orlando, FL
This space is normally reserved for stories related to the Raptors, the NBA and pretty-much anything on the hard court (from Canada Basketball to high school ball, etc).
But I wanted to take a moment away from hoops – and my family vacation – to pass along my condolences to Wade Belak’s friends and family.
I never met Belak in person; only chatted with him on the radio a few times. He came across as genuine and likable. He was friendly and funny. He seemed to have all of the attributes one would look for in a budding broadcaster – let alone as a friend.
The hockey world has lost another tough guy but for many in Toronto, this one hits much closer to home (respectfully) than the deaths of Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard.
Belak played in 340 regular season and playoff games for the Leafs from 2001-2008.
The Maple Leafs issued this statement earlier tonight:
“(We) are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Wade Belak. Wade was extremely popular with his teammates, the staff, and Maple Leafs fans everywhere. He was the consummate team player on and off the ice. He will be deeply missed in the hockey community and our thoughts and prayers are with Wade’s family and friends during this challenging time.”
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
Tuesday August 30 2011 – 4:34pm Eastern – Orlando, FL
- WHO –
The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team:
|Jermaine Anderson||Guard||6’2||Toronto, ON||Panionios (Greece)|
|Joel Anthony||Centre||6’9||Montreal, QC||Miami (NBA)|
|Denham Brown||Guard||6’5||Toronto, ON||Dnipro (Ukraine)|
|Aaron Doornekamp||Forward||6’7||Odessa, ON||Caserta (Italy)|
|Carl English||Guard||6’5||Paradise, NL||DKV Joventut (Spain)|
|Jeff Ferguson||Forward||6’11||Toronto, ON||Edmonton (IBL)|
|Cory Joseph||Guard||6’3||Pickering, ON||University of Texas (NCAA) *|
|Levon Kendall||Forward||6’10||Vancouver, BC||Obradorio (Spain)|
|Kelly Olynyk||Forward||6’11||Kamloops, BC||Gonzaga University (NCAA)|
|Andy Rautins||Guard||6’5||New York, NY||New York (NBA)|
|Jevohn Shepherd||Forward||6’6||Toronto, ON||Frankfurt (Germany)|
|Jesse Young||Forward||6’10||Peterborough, ON||Banca Tercas (Italy)|
* Joseph was drafted by the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs in June 2011
Coaching Staff / Team Staff:
|Leo Rautins||Head Coach|
|Renato Pasquali||Assistant Coach|
|Scott Roth||Assistant Coach|
|Greg Francis||Assistant Coach|
|Sam Gibbs||Athletic Therapist|
|Dr. Andrew Pipe||Team Physician|
|Fatih Akser||Video Coordinator|
|Mat Yorke||Team Manager|
|Maurizio Gherardini||Managing Director|
- WHAT -
2011 FIBA Americas Championship
- WHERE -
Mar Del Plata, Argentina
- WHEN -
August 30 2011 – September 11 2011
- WHY -
Canada is trying to earn a berth into the 2012 Olympic Games. The top two teams from the FIBA Americas Championship will automatically earn a trip to the O2 Arena in London, England next summer.
Three more teams (seeds 3, 4, and 5) will, temporarily, avoid elimination from the Olympics as well. This trio of countries will enter into a Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournament next summer – less than 2 weeks before the start of the London Games. Thus, finishing in the Top 5 (if not Top 2) is paramount for Canada.
- HOW -
Canada will compete in Group “A” of the FIBA Americas with Brazil, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Venezuela.
Group “B” consists of: Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Panama, Argentina, and Paraguay.
According to FIBA’s website … “The best four teams per group enter the quarter-finals where they will play four games against the teams that entered from the other group … The best four in the standings at the end of the quarter-finals will qualify into the FIBA World Championship and the semi-finals…”
Canada’s Round 1 schedule looks like this:
|Wednesday, August 31||20:30 local time (7:30 pm ET)||CANADA vs. Brazil|
|Thursday, September 1||18:00 local time (5:00 pm ET)||CANADA vs. Dominican Republic|
|Friday, September 2||11:30 local time (10:30 am ET)||CANADA vs. Cuba|
|Saturday, September 3||11:30 local time (10:30 am ET)||CANADA vs. Venezuela|
Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Sunday August 28 2011 – 6:48pm Eastern – Fort Lauderdale, FL
It was one week ago today that the National Basketball League of Canada held its inaugural draft and both Paul Jones and I had a chance to be part of history as we broadcasted the event – live – on a webcast that was presented on the NBL’s website and on DomeProductions.com as well.
One of our colleagues, photographer Ancil London, was busy working the event as well … snapping shots of the players, coaches, owners (and media) that filled the suite at the Rogers Centre on August 21.
Courtesy of London … I present to you this brief PHOTO BLOG from last week’s special day for the NBL:
Jones and Smith busy at work
Tyrone Levett – Drafted 3rd Overall by the London Lightning
The 1st Canadian to be Drafted — Jerome Brown (to the Saint John Mill Rats (5th overall))
2nd Canadian Drafted – Tristan Martin – 7th overall to the Quebec Kebs
Kevin Francis. The 1st pick in the 2nd Round … went to the Oshawa Power
Isaac Kuon going to The London Lightning (3rd pick in the 2nd round)
Popa Oppong (aka – Big Popa) … Going to the Halifax Rainmen as the 6th Pick of the 2nd round
Smith and Jones still smilin’ at the end of a long (but successful) night
If you’d like to see more of Ancil London’s photographs or if you’d like to hire him for any work, send me a message and I’ll be sure to pass along his contact info.
Have a good one folks.
Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Saturday August 27 2011 – 3:20pm Eastern – Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Canadian Senior Men’s team wrapped up its exhibition season with another loss yesterday … dropping a tight 64-62 contest to the Puerto Rican national team.
That tilt was Canada’s final game of the Tuto Marchand Cup and the last tune-up the Canadians will have before opening the 2011 FIBA Americas on August 31 (against Brazil) in Argentina.
Many fans have been coming out of the woodwork over the past month or so, criticizing the performance of the Men’s team. But let me give it to you straight …
The team is simply not that good right now.
Be clear though: I am not saying they are “bad” … I am saying they are young and inexperienced and they’re going to have to grow as a team.
This is a new era for Team Canada. Their most experienced player (in terms of international experience) is Levon Kendall – and he’s only 27 years old! Heck, he has barely played 100 games in international ball.
Gone are the years of Steve Nash, Rowan Barrett, Sherman Hamilton and Peter Guarasci. This is a team that will either sink or swim with a core of Andy Rautins, Joel Anthony, Kendall, Jermaine Anderson, and Cory Joseph. They’ll rely on the scoring prowess and/or depth of Carl English and Denham Brown and they’ll hope to get better – down the road – with additions like Matt Bonner and Tristan Thompson (and one day (soon?) Myck Kabongo and Andrew Wiggins too).
For now, Leo Rautins simply has to hope for the best. And for this Canadian Crew … the ‘best’ would be a team that scratches and claws for every possession and makes its name on (a) defence (b) hustle and (c) unselfishness. Team Canada won’t be able to get by on skill alone and they won’t be able to out-score most opponents in a bucket-for-bucket offensive showdown. They’ll have to rely on hard work, period.
As citizens …
As Canadians …
As fans of the team and the GAME …
… It’s perfectly acceptable and understandable that you want your country to perform well. But too many people have unrealistic hopes (based on very little knowledge of the team) for Team Canada right now.
In all likelihood, Canada will not finish in the Top 2 at the FIBA Americas. Thus, the Canadians will not earn an automatic berth into the 2012 Olympics. However, London does not necessarily have to be unattainable. If Canada can finish in the Top FIVE in Argentina, seeds 3, 4, and 5 will be entered into a 12-team “Olympic Qualifier” next summer — just before the London Games begin. Should Rautins and Co. put themselves in a position to be in that tournament, then who knows what could happen with another year of experience under their belts and the possible additions of guys like Bonner and Thompson too.
‘Til then, as my man Jack Armstrong would say:
“Creep … crawl … walk … run.”
CANADA’s SKED FOR THE FIBA AMERICAS:
|August 31, 2011||8:30 pm ART(7:30 pm ET)||Brazil|
|September 1, 2011||6:00 pm ART (5:00 pm ET)||Dominican Republic|
|September 2, 2011||11:30 am ART (10:30 am ET)||Cuba|
|September 3, 2011||11:30 am ART (10:30 am ET)||Venezuela|
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
Wednesday August 24 2011 – 4:19pm Eastern – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
I’m on vacation right now – in South-Florida – hoping to dodge Hurricane Irene.
The latest information seems to be telling folks that the path of the storm should keep ‘ol Irene off of Florida’s coast. At most, we may get some high winds and rain starting tomorrow – lasting a day or two – but nothing much more significant. That said, things can turn (literally and figuratively) in the blink of an eye (no pun intended (Eye of the Storm)) so I’ll simply say I’m ‘cautiously optimistic’ …
… I did go out and buy some water, flashlights, and extra batteries at Wal-Mart though!
The news of Hurricane Irene has pushed a lot of the coverage of the Miami Hurricanes’ scandal off a few of the pages. It’s still there … just not as prevalent, for now.
It would be nice (okay, no really) if Canadian colleges and universities could even think about having to worry about booster scandals and violation allegations. Given that programs and schools north of the border aren’t really privy to offering athletic scholarships, there’s rarely much ‘foul play’ going on. I’m sure it exists somewhere – in some capacity – but nothing like what folks in the U.S. have seen. Heck, look at Miami, Reggie Bush giving back his Heisman Trophy, and the Barry Switzer era at Oklahoma as a few fine (and recent) examples.
The closest encounter I ever had to anything ‘off-side’ came back when I was at Humber College and the rumblings started that one of the players on the men’s basketball team was not officially enrolled in school at the time the club was playing. The stories/accusations were never proven to be true (though many believed the accuracy of the story) so the rumors quickly faded. Thus, ’cause it can’t be confirmed, I won’t give the name of the player in question!
Speaking of Humber … I’ve got to give a big shout-out to a fellow “Hawk” … Akeem Sween … who was selected by Moncton in the 3rd round of the NBL Draft on Sunday evening. Congrats!
If you’ve been searching for a full list of the draftees from Sunday, look no further:
Oshawa – Morgan Lewis, University of Findlay
PEI- Justin Garris, Ashland University
London – Tryone Levett, Alabama State
Moncton – Darrell Wonge, Winston-Salem State
Saint John – Jerome Brown, Panola College *
Halifax – Danny Friend, Limestone College
Quebec – Tristan Martin, University of Houston *
Oshawa – Kevin Francis, Cleveland State
PEI – Chris Cayole, St. Michael’s College
London – Isaac Kuon, University of Windsor
Moncton – Kevin Loiselle, Maine Fort Kent University
Saint John – Sherton Sanderson, Markham, ON
Halifax – Papa Oppong, Eastern Kentucky
Quebec – Sherone Edwards, UPEI
Oshawa – Blain Labranche, UBC
PEI – Tyrone Mattison, Long Island University
London – Nicholas Lother, University of Winnipeg
Moncton – Akeem Sween, Humber College
Saint John – Kevin Massiah, Wisconsin
Halifax – Jerrell Thompson, Sacred Heart University
Quebec – Eugene Kotorabai, Long Island University
( * – denotes Canadians selected in the 1st round. Rounds 2 and 3 were all Canadians (as designated by NBL rules))
Want MORE news from the NBL?
How ’bout some names and logos …
You probably already know about the Halifax Rainmen, Quebec Kebs, and Saint John Mill Rats — the founding fathers of the NBL. But London, Oshawa, and Moncton have recently named their teams as well … and the league is still awaiting final say from the folks in PEI.
And the OSHAWA POWER were unveiled last week but the logo has not been released to the public as of yet. I have seen it though (coaches were wearing golf shirts at the NBL Draft) and I can tell you that it’s a basic “P” … grey in colour … looking somewhat similar to the Purdue logo. If I can track down an image for the POWER … I will post it here asap.
Word is the PEI team may drop the provincial name (i.e. – PEI ____ ) and go with the city in which the club will be playing its games: Summerside. The SUMMERSIDE ______.
Some insiders originally speculated the east coast team could go consider going by neither the province or the city’s name … and simply refer to the team as “THE ISLAND”
I’ll get back to more NBA and Team Canada stories tomorrow and in the days ahead. Yes, I plan on blogging still … even while I’m on vacation!
… That’s assuming I survive Irene!
Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Thursday August 18 2011 – 2:40pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
This story just came down from the folks at Associated Press in the last 90 minutes or so:
BEIJING (AP)—A bench-clearing brawl at an exhibition game between American and Chinese basketball teams has marred the orchestrated harmony of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to China.
The fight between the Georgetown University men’s basketball team and the Bayi Rockets on Thursday night in Beijing forced the game to end early. On Wednesday, Biden watched the Georgetown Hoyas play another Chinese team. Biden did not attend Thursday’s game.
Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said in a statement that the two teams “played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams.” He said Georgetown regretted the incident.
The Georgetown Hoyas are in China on a goodwill trip.
Video of the incident is now starting to filter out as well. Check out this link posted on YouTube of the brawl:
Yahoo! Sports has a great piece – with photos – in their NCAA section (in “The Dagger” blog). You can check it out here:
Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Thursday August 18 2011 – 2:21pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
|October 11||Minnesota||Target Center||Minneapolis||8 p.m.|
|October 12||Detroit||Van Andel Arena||Grand Rapids, MI||7 p.m.|
|October 14||Detroit||Air Canada Centre||Toronto||7 p.m.|
|October 16||Boston||Air Canada Centre||Toronto||6 p.m.|
|October 18||Milwaukee||Air Canada Centre||Toronto||7 p.m.|
|October 21||Boston||TD Center||Boston||7:30 p.m.|
|October 24||New York||Madison Square Garden||New York||7:30 p.m.|
|October 26||Minnesota||Air Canada Centre||Toronto||7 p.m.|
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Tuesday August 16 2011 – 5:06pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
Earlier today on Sportsnet Radio the FAN 590 I had a chance to chat with NBA Union VP (and San Antonio Spurs forward), Matt Bonner, about the ongoing NBA Lockout and the fact that the owners and players have met only once since the labor war began on July 1.
If you missed the interview, you can check it out right here:
Bonner discussed the National Football League’s new Collective Bargaining agreement as well – and if he felt that it would have any impact on the NBA’s deal.
The chat is well worth a listen. So tune in and leave your comments below.
Bonner also plugged his charity event that’s coming up in Toronto on September 10:
ROCK THE COURT
I’ll be taking part in this charity basketball tournament and I encourage you to check out the link below and read-up on the event and get involved if you have the funds to do so!
NBA’ers like Nick Collison and Spencer Hawes will be taking part as well (in addition to Bonner) and former NBA’ers Paul Shirley and Brent Barry will suit-up too.
One topic I didn’t discuss in my chat with Bonner — but something I’ve addressed numerous times on the radio and in this space over the past couple of weeks — is the number of players that have agreed to contracts with teams overseas.
I truly see these signings as a “non-issue” right now.
Not only is Deron Williams the only true STAR to agree to a deal across the pond, but most players (including Williams) are signing contracts with opt-out clauses. As soon as the NBA cuts a deal on a CBA — whenever that may be — players that have jumped ship can get out of their contracts in Turkey, Spain, China, etc. and head right back to North America and the NBA.
Until players — SIGNIFICANT players — start to sign deals without an opt-out clause, these contracts are a moot point. The owners aren’t going to blink at a guy who is simply making money during his off-season — when he’s not collecting a paycheque anyway; knowing that he’ll be returning to the NBA anyway.
Hoopshype.com (a fantastic basketball website for links to NBA stories, salaries, rumors, and more) has compiled a list of every NBA’er who has agreed to a deal overseas. And with respect to the Ty Lawsons and Nicolas Batums of the world, nearly every player (other than D. Williams) is a 2nd-3rd (4th?) tier player in the NBA.
Jeff Adrien (GS) – signed in Italy with an opt-out
David Andersen (NO) – signed in Italy without an opt-out
Hilton Armstrong (ATL) – signed in France without an opt-out
Nicolas Batum (POR) – signed in France with an opt-out
Jon Diebler (POR) – signed in Greece without an opt-out
Jordan Farmar (NJ) – signed in Israel with an opt-out
Danny Green (SA) – signed in Slovenia with an opt-out
Nenad Krstic (BOS) – signed in Russia without an opt-out
Acie Law (GS) – signed in Serbia without an opt-out
Ty Lawson (DEN) – signed in Lithuania with an opt-out
Jon Leuer (MIL) – signed in Germany with an opt-out
E’Twaun Moore (BOS) – signed in Italy with an opt-out
Timofey Mozgov (DEN) – signed in Russia with an opt-out
Nikola Pekovic (MIN) – signed in Serbia with an opt-out
Chris Quinn (SA) – signed in Russia without an opt-out
Mustafa Shakur (WAS) – signed in France without an opt-out
Darius Songaila (PHI) – signed in Turkey without an opt-out
DaJuan Summers (DET) – signed in Italy without an opt-out
Garrett Temple (CHA) – signed in Italy without an opt-out
Sasha Vujacic (NJ) – signed in Turkey without an opt-out
Von Wafer (BOS) – signed in Italy without an opt-out
Sonny Weems (TOR) – signed in Lithuania without an opt-out
Deron Williams (NJ) – signed in Turkey wih an opt-out
For a complete list of players with the actual teams they’ve signed contracts for and their 2010-11 NBA salaries, check out the Hoopshype list: http://hoopshype.com/overseas.htm … (they even list the ‘rumored’ destinations of various NBA’ers).
Have a good one folks
Sunday, August 14th, 2011
Sunday August 14 2011 – 2:22pm Eastern – Hamilton, ON
The Canadian Senior Mens Team just wrapped up the 1st QRT against Belgium … and Leo Rautins’ crew leads 17-15.
Canada is playing the Belgians for the second straight day … with the Red and White winning 79-74 at Ryerson (Toronto) last night.
It’s a steamy day at McMaster University — no A/C in the gym — with 2nd QRT action now underway and the Canadians up 19-15 with 9:15 to go in the half. I’ll try to provide a ‘play by play’ from here on out …
Olynyk runner in the lane … 21-15 Canada
0/2 FT for Belgium’s Maxime De Zeeuw and Canada still leads 21-15 (7:07)
Brown gets behind the D for a break-out dunk … Canada up 23-15
De Zeeuw hits a jumper, 23-17 Canada
2/2 FT for Rautins … 25-17 Canada
Brown 1/2 FT … 26-17 Canada
Olynyk 1/2 FT … 27-17 Canada
Jonathan Tabu-Eboma lay up brings Belgium back to 27-19
Carl English hits 2 FTs after the tech on Belgiums Axel Hervelle … 29-19 Canada
Two more FTs for English …Canada now up 31-19
Christophe Beghin goes 1/2 at the FT line
Beghin then with a lay-in underneath … 31-22 Canada
Beautiful back-door screen and roll — Rautins to Anderson — and Canada leads 33-22
1:58 to play … 2 FTs hit by Rautins (following another tech (this one on the Belgium bench)) … Canada up 35-22
Anthony goes 0/2 at the FT line but Kendall gets the offensive board and lays it in to give Canada the 37-22 lead
Belgian bucket (didn’t see who — sorry) … Canada up 37-24
English with 2 FTs to put Canada up 39-24 with :25.4 seconds to play
2/2 FT for Tabu-Eboma (Belgium) and Canada now leads 39-26.
AT THE HALF: 39-26 Canada
3rd QRT underway …
Back to back 3-balls for Belgium (Tabu-Eboma and Marcus Faison) cuts into Canada’s lead (now 41-32)
Another tech for Belgium (not sure on who) … English goes 2/2 at the line and Canada is up 43-32
De Zeeuw with the long jumper…43-34 Canada
Back to back buckets for Belgium (Beghin and then Sam Van Rossom) … Canada’s lead cut to 43-38 w/ 6:11 to play
Olynyk corner jumper … 45-38 Canada
Anderson 2/2 FT (Belgium now in penalty) … 47-38 Canada
Brown with a leander on the right side … 49-38 Canada
Dimitri Lauers lay in for Belgium
Maxime De Zeeuw with a monster dunk for Belgium … Canada’s lead cut to 49-42
Step-back jumper for Lauers brings Belgium back within 5 (49-44 Canada)
2/2 FT for Brown puts Canada up 51-44
Big man Thomas Van Den Spiegel with some nice footwork underneath for Belgium … 51-46 Canada
Olynyk dances into the lane and takes the bump. Bucket … and 1 (FT) … 54-46 Canada
END OF 3 QRTs: Canada leads 54-46
Van Den Spiegel opens the scoring in the 4th … bringing Belgium within 6 at 54-48
Sloppy turnover from Canada … Jorn Steinbach scores on the break-away lay-in for Belgium. Canada up 54-50
Joseph with the bucket and 1 for Canada. Hits the FT. Canadians lead 57-50
Hervelle nails a 3-ball for Belgium. 57-53 Canada
Kendall gets on the offensive glass and taps in a put-back. Fouled too. Hits FT. Canada up 60-53
Rautins restores Canada’s double-digit lead with a 3-ball. 63-53 with 6:46 to play in the game
2/2 FT for Olynyk … 65-53 Canada
Van Den Spiegel with a soft lay-in for Belgium … 65-55 Canada
1/2 FT for Belgium (didn’t see who — was on the phone (Sorry)) … 65-56 Canada
Olynyk jumper puts Canada up 67-56
Anthony jam increases Canada’s lead to 69-56
Hervelle 3-ball for Belgium makes it 69-59 for Canada
Long 2 for Olynyk … Canada lead 71-59
Lauwers bucket for Belgium from the right side … 71-61 with just under 2:30 to play
Another 3-ball for Belgium (Van Rossom) … 71-64 Canada
:55.o seconds to go … Brown goes 1/2 at the FT line for Canada … they lead 72-64
De Zeeuw hits a 3-pointer for Belgium … Canada up 72-67
Anderson jumper for Canada secures the win with about :25 seconds to play. 74-67 Canada
1/2 FT for Belgium’s Van Rossom with :1.8 seconds to play. Canada up 74-68
Game over. FINAL SCORE: 74-68 (Canada)
The folks at Canada Basketball / The Jack Donahue Classic asked me to select today’s Players of the Game …
I went with: Kelly Olynyk (Canada) and Axel Hervelle (Belgium)
Hervelle finished 6/9 FG (including 3/3 from 3PT) … 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Olynyk had a game-high 16 points (6/10 FG) and added 7 rebounds as well.
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Wednesday August 10 2011 – 5:04pm Eastern – Collingwood, ON
Greetings from vacation in cottage country!
I’ll be back on the air (2pm-4pm) next week … hope you’re not missing me too much while I’m gone!
Though I am with the family, nap-times for my son = opportunities for me to check-in on the ‘ol blog with some Random Thoughts!
You’ve probably heard me — or Paul Jones — talk about this before, but former NBA’er (former Raptor) Popeye Jones has been living the life of a “hockey Dad” for more than a decade now and if the experts are right, his son Seth may end up becoming the ‘face’ of the family. The 16-year-old is being touted as one of the best young pucksters in the U.S. and barring a major setback, he’s almost sure to get drafted in 2013. Check out this story from Kevin Allen in USA Today:
‘MELO IN CHINA
I know I’m late to the party with this one … but … as Seth Meyers would say on “Saturday Night Live” …
C’mon Carmelo. Are you really ‘mean-muggin’ with a panda … on a publicity / promotional tour in China? Do you realize how ridiculous you look?
Granted, I laughed. But much of my laughter was rooted in how lame this pic is … not necessarily how funny it is.
Just a random thought: I think players have to stop looking for support (for their ‘side’ of the Lockout) from the fans on Twitter. I get the growing feeling that fans generally don’t favour the owners OR the players. They just want the Lockout over with and the season started on time.
As I first reported almost a month ago, Cory Joseph will be joining the Canadian Senior Men’s Team.
Canada Basketball issued a statement earlier today – confirming the story. And Joseph says he’s thrilled to be putting on the Red and White.
“First off, it’s an honour to play for your country and I’m excited to get on the floor and represent Canada as best as I can,” said Joseph, who first represented Canada in 2007. “I know we have a young, great group, with Joel (Anthony), (Carl) English and (Andy) Rautins coming in. I think it’s going to be a fun experience and I am excited to play with guys I already know, like Denham (Brown). Hopefully we come back with the gold, but if not, qualify for the Olympics.”
You can read the full press release / story here: http://basketball.ca/en/hm/inside.php?sid=1&id=5315
My original article – from July 16 2011 – can be found here: http://blog.rogersbroadcasting.com/ericsmith/2011/07/16/a-big-boost-for-canada/
One more random thought before I go: Yao Ming is not a Hall of Famer. He was a great ambassador for the game. He paved the way for future ballers from China and Asia. He was a fantastic player; an All Star.
But he is not a Hall of Famer.
I’m off to steal signs for the Blue Jays.
(what a JOKE that story is/was too)
Have a good one