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Guangzhou Loong-Lions forward Andrew Nicholson holds the ball in front of Washington Wizards forward Jemerrio Jones during an NBA exhibition game on Oct. 9, 2019.

Nick Wass/The Associated Press

Former NBA player Andrew Nicholson highlights Canada’s men’s basketball team roster for the coming FIBA AmeriCup 2021 qualifiers.

The 30-year-old is available to play for Canada after the new coronavirus forced the Chinese Basketball Association to postpone its season.

Nicholson, who played five seasons in the NBA with Orlando, Washington and Brooklyn, was playing for the Guangzhou Loong Lions.

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Canada faces the Dominican Republic in Oshawa, Ont., on Feb. 21 before travelling to Santo Domingo for a rematch on Feb. 24.

Gord Herbert will coach the team in place of Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

“It is always a great honour to represent Canada,” Herbert said. “We’re looking forward to facing the Dominican Republic in a home-and-away series, which will be a great experience for us as a team. Rowan Barrett, Michael Meeks and David Grundman have done a great job assembling a terrific group and we hope that Canadian fans will come out next Friday.”

The FIBA AmeriCup 2021 qualifiers feature 16 teams from the Americas zone divided into four groups. Teams play each other twice, home and away, during the qualifying phase with three windows set for Feb. 21-24, 2020; November, 2020; and February, 2021.

Canada is in Group C along with Cuba, Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The top three finishing teams in each group will earn a qualifying berth in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021. The FIBA AmeriCup used to be a qualifying event for the Olympics and World Cup.

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