A Guide to the Canada Men’s Basketball Team

Courtside 1891 Editorial Team 03 Aug 2023


Times are changing for the Canadian men’s basketball team. 2023 saw them claim a medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup for the first time, with their only other medal coming during the 1936 Olympics. A new wave of talent is emerging that is heading to the 2024 Olympics full of confidence and global tournament experience.

Now represented by a new generation of Canadian NBA stars, including newly-crowned champion Jamal Murray and rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SGA), the future of Canadian basketball looks bright. Keen to discover more about the Canadian men’s basketball team? Read this comprehensive guide from the Courtside 1891 team.

2024 Summer Olympics - Men's Basketball

The Canada men's basketball team are confirmed as one of the twelve nations that will compete at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Canada automatically qualified for Paris 2024 thanks to their performance at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.  

The Olympic basketball events will take place between 27th July and 10th of August 2024. The nations currently confirmed to participate are France (host), South Sudan, Serbia, the United States, Japan, Germany, Australia and Canada.

The four remaining places will be confirmed through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024, which you can stream live with Courtside 1891. The tournaments are currently scheduled for July 2-7 2024. 

Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Mexico advanced from the Americas region, following positive results at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. They will be joined by the Bahamas, who shocked Argentina in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in La Banda, Argentina.

From Europe, the competing Olympic qualifying tournament nations are Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Greece, Georgia, Finland, Poland and Croatia.

Egypt, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon are the competing African nations.

From Asia and Oceania, the teams that advanced were Lebanon, the Philippines, New Zealand and Bahrain.

How Did Canada Do At The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023? 

​​Here are the top stats from Canada's FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign: 

  • Final Standing: 3rd (bronze medal)
  • Results: Played 8 Won 6 Lost 2 
  • Top Points Scorer: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 196 PTS (24.5 PPG)
  • Top Assist Provider: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 51 AST (6.4 APG)
  • Most Efficient Player: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 30.4 EPG

Canada announced itself as a serious force on the international basketball scene with their well-deserved medal finish. If Jamal Murray was healthy, they may have brought a shinier medal home, but beating USA out to bronze with a thrilling 127-118 OT win capped off a memorable tournament run. Unlucky to miss out on a spot on the All-Second Team, Dillion Brooks went off for 39 points and scooped up the best defensive player award. Check out his highlights from the game, below.

Dillon Brooks | USA v Canada

Firmly on the All-Star Five list was his running mate, SGA, who had five 25+ point games and led the entire field in efficiency per game (30.4). RJ Barrett had a solid tournament too, averaging 16.8 PTS 5 REB, scoring 23+ in all three knockout games. With the bulk of the roster committing to play in both the World Cup and the 2024 Olympics, expect Canada to be in the running for another podium finish.  

Team Presentation Video

Released ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, boost your knowledge of the Canada basketball team with the help of our handy Team Discovery Video, which includes details on the team’s history, legendary players and up-and-coming stars. 


Team Presentation - Canada - FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

World Cup Qualification

Canada qualified for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup at a canter, winning 11 of their 12 qualification games. 

In the first round of qualification, the Canada basketball team was placed in Group C, alongside the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. Canada won all six of the games by a combined margin of 198 points. This included a 67-113 demolition of the Virgin Islands and a 115-73 victory over the Bahamas. 

In the second qualification round, they featured in Group E, alongside the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Argentina, Panama and the Bahamas. Again, they dominated the competition and topped the group with an 11-1 record and an overall points difference of +351. By winning five of their six away matches across qualification, Canada more than lived up to their ‘The Road Warriors’ nickname. 

Best World Cup Qualifying Plays 

As the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers took place during the NBA season, many of Canada’s household names rarely featured in the qualifying games. For example, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander only played in three matches, while RJ Barrett and Jamal Murray didn’t feature at all. 

During these all-important games, the Canadian squad was anchored by brothers Phil Scrubb and Thomas Scrubb. Both featured in all 12 of the side’s matches. Canada’s dominance can be seen from Phil’s stats. He finished the qualification phase with a cumulative +/- of +213!

Interested in seeing some of Canada’s best baskets from the qualification phase of the tournament? Take a look at the video below, which includes the side’s Top 10 plays.

Best Plays - Canada - FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers 2023

Current Star Players

On July 14, 2023, Canada announced an expanded 18-man roster ahead of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

This extended roster, which is composed of players committed to play in both the summer and winter cores (including Olympic qualification), is full of young and promising talent, including 10 NBA players!

Headline names included recently crowned NBA champion Jamal Murray, OKC Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett.

Murray was coming off a standout season with the Denver Nuggets, who he helped claim their first-ever NBA title. A sharp-shooting physically imposing guard who averaged 20 points a game in the NBA last year, Murray fully recovered from the ACL tear that sidelined him for the entirety of the 2021-22 NBA season. However, he was forced to withdraw from the squad after a gruelling domestic season, citing the need for more recovery time. 

Leading the Canadian backcourt is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who made his FIBA Basketball World Cup debut. SGA enjoyed a spectacular season for the Thunder, where he averaged more than 30 points a game. He also gained his first All-Star nod and his first All-NBA First Team selection. His talent was undeniable during Window Four of World Cup qualification, where he averaged nearly one point per minute on the court.  

He was joined by RJ Barrett. This former number three pick in the NBA Draft has already put in a couple of standout performances for his country, including at the 2017 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup, where he was named as the tournament’s MVP after Canada claimed the title. 

The other NBA players (at the time the squad was announced) named on the expanded roster include Dillon Brooks (Houston Rockets), Oshae Brissett (Boston Celtics), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Minnesota Timberwolves), Cory Joseph (Golden State Warriors), Kelly Olynyk (Utah Jazz) and Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks).

Legends of the Team 

Fans of the Canada basketball team love their up-and-coming crop of talent. However, one former player holds a special place in their hearts: Steve Nash. 

Inducted in both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the FIBA Hall of Fame, Nash is one of the finest point guards to ever play the game. Famed for his playmaking, ball-handling skills and shooting, he was a master of the pick and roll.

A leader of the Canadian side for many years, Nash claimed a bronze and a silver AmeriCup medal with the side. He was also named as the tournament’s MVP twice (1999 and 2003).

His list of achievements in the NBA is as long as it is impressive. Across an 18-year career in the league, he was named as an All-Star eight times and made an All-NBA team seven times. He was also named as the NBA’s MVP twice. 

Historical World Cup Performance

Before the 19th and latest edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Basketball Canada had never claimed a World Cup medal. In total, they had made 14 previous appearances at the tournament and never placed higher than sixth. 

Previous Successes and Tournament Wins

Team Canada won silver at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany, which was the first to feature basketball as an Olympic sport. Since then, they’ve never re-appeared on the podium at the Games. However, they have finished fourth twice.

In the modern era, Canada have underperformed at the Olympics. The team has regularly failed to qualify and their last appearance came all the way back in 2000. 

But, The Road Warriors have enjoyed a good degree of success in regional tournaments. Since 1980, they’ve captured six medals at the FIBA AmeriCup, including a bronze as recently as 2015. They also won their first Pan American Games medal in 2015 (silver). 

How to Watch Canada Men's Basketball

With Courtside 1891, worldwide fans can stream every game of FIBA international tournaments, as well as other competitions from around the world. 

As FIBA’s premium streaming partner for the World Cup, Courtside 1891 provided access to every 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup game! Watch the competition's biggest games and best moments on-demand on our FIBA Basketball World Cup page. 

The best way to make sure that you never miss a single second of the upcoming action is to download our app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play, or sign up to our website platform. Please be aware that, due to broadcasting rights and restrictions, access to some games might be restricted depending on your location. See our where-to-watch page for full details of upcoming competitions.

Looking for the latest results from the world of basketball? Head over to the Courtside 1891 Game Center. Here you’ll also find matchup times in your country as well as easy-to-access game highlights you can watch when you register with Courtside 1891.