Leo Rautins has taken his first gamble at the world basketball championships.
The head coach of the Canadian men's team announced his final roster Friday, and included his banged-up, sharp-shooting son Andy.
The younger Rautins was on the bubble after bruising his surgically repaired left knee in a warm-up game against France on Aug. 13.
"We kind of rolled the dice figuring it's better off trying, as long as we don't put him at risk," Leo Rautins said.
Andy Rautins, a six-foot-five shooting guard, sat out the six games Canada has played since arriving in Europe to prepare for the world tournament, which kicks off Saturday.
The stretch while Rautins healed included five losses, one 123-49 to Greece.
But the coaches hope Rautins can spark the team with his trademark tenacity and accurate three-point shooting, the same way he did last summer while helping Canada qualify for the world championships. In 10 games, he made 23-of-51 three-point attempts.
It just isn't yet clear how much he can give.
"We don't know if it's going to be something where we're going to get two minutes, or 20 minutes," Leo Rautins said of his son's playing time.
Canada practised Friday at the Halkapinar Arena, where it will try to advance by finishing in the top four of a pool of six teams.
Its first game is Saturday against Lebanon.
Also making the final 12-man roster were veterans Levon Kendall of Vancouver, Aaron Doornekamp of Odessa, Ont., Jermaine Bucknor of Edmonton, Ryan Bell of Ottawa and Toronto natives Jermaine Anderson, Denham Brown and Olu Famutimi. Robert Sacre of Vancouver, Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops B.C., and Jevohn Shepherd of Toronto are newcomers.
Andy Rautins, who recently signed with the New York Knicks, and centre Joel Anthony of the Miami Heat are the only two NBA players on the squad.
Tyler Kepkay, a six-foot point guard from North Vancouver, B.C., and Kyle Landry, a six-foot-nine forward from Calgary, were cut from the 14-man team that travelled to Europe.
Kepkay left Friday to try out for a professional team in Germany, though not the ETB Wohnbau Essen club for which he played last season, while Landry returned to Canada.
Meanwhile, Leo Rautins says he'd like to see his son dial back the intensity a bit during the tournament.
"(He) got to the level where he's at with the NBA by really being an aggressive, scrappy player," the coach said, recalling his 24-year-old son's days at Syracuse University. "But now it's like we're putting a leash (on him) and saying 'Ok we want you to play, but we want you to slow down, slow down. You don't have to be diving in for these rebounds. That's not going to be a difference for us right now.
"We're trying to tell him you don't need to prove anything. You just need to do what we need you to do if you can do it."
Canada faces Lithuania on Sunday, France on Aug. 31, New Zealand on Sept. 1, and Spain on Sept. 2.
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