After the vast majority of Team Canada’s NBA talent skipped out on last summer’s FIBA World Cup, players are now committing to the squad in droves for June’s last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria.
New York Knicks rookie phenom RJ Barrett proudly added his name to the growing list Wednesday, joining the likes of Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Dillon Brooks and Chris Boucher.
Canada has to win the six-team tournament in order to punch its ticket to Tokyo, which will be a tall task going up against Greece, China, Turkey, Uruguay and the Czech Republic. Canada hasn’t qualified for the Olympics since 2000.
Barrett has enjoyed a solid start to his NBA career after being selected third overall by the Knicks in the 2019 draft. The Toronto native is averaging 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists through his first 16 games.
The 19-year-old is back in his hometown Wednesday as the Knicks take on the Toronto Raptors. Barrett is listed as probable for the game due to illness, but it’s hard to imagine him not suiting up against the team he grew up cheering for.
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