Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Canada's coach Nick Nurse gestures during a FIBA World Cup game against Lithuania in Dongguan, China, on Sep. 3, 2019.

The Associated Press

Hosting an Olympic qualifying tournament for men’s basketball was simply too good an opportunity for Glen Grunwald to pass up.

The Canada Basketball CEO thinks it’s a win-win situation as it was announced on Friday that the nation’s men’s team will play its Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria in June. Canada must win the six-team tournament, June 23-28, to earn a berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The draw will be Nov. 27.

“To be able to play in front of our own fans is always exciting and gives our team a home-court advantage,” said Grunwald from Edmonton, where Canada’s women’s team is hosting an Olympic qualifying tournament this week. “Secondly, it’s an opportunity to not have to play some of the better teams in Europe on their home court. Then in terms of travel it’s less wear and tear on our players and staff.

Story continues below advertisement

“Also, the opportunity to grow basketball in this country. Our intention is to leave a great legacy behind in Victoria, the greater Victoria area, and in B.C., both for basketball and for infrastructure.”

As the host country, Japan automatically qualified for the 2020 Games. Seven countries qualified for Tokyo at the FIBA World Cup in China, but missing most of its stars, the Canadian team finished 21st there.

Recruiting NBA players to play internationally has often been a problem for Canada. Although there were 16 Canadians on opening-day rosters in the NBA this season – second only to the United States – Sacramento’s Cory Joseph and Orlando’s Khem Birch were the only NBAers who played for Canada at the World Cup in September.

Grunwald believes that having the qualifying tournament on home soil will help Canada recruit more of its elite players.

“I think it’s a big plus,” said Grunwald. “I think everyone has a positive impression of Victoria, so we’ll enjoy being there. I think it’s a positive factor in a player’s decision to participate.”

At least one Canadian appears to be willing to suit up for the qualifying tournament.

“I plan on being there, I plan on playing regardless of if I get a contract or whatever happens,” Memphis forward Dillon Brooks told the NBA’s website. “I’m going to play for Team Canada because you know I missed out this year and I really want to play and make it to the Olympics.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s something in my basketball career that I want to do – wear that red and white. It’s going to be a special year for us in Canada.”

The six teams in Victoria will be divided into two groups of three with each playing all the other teams in its own group. The top two teams in each group will play in the semi-finals. The two semi-final winners will advance to the final, with the winner earning a trip to Tokyo.

An unnamed donor contributed financially to Canada’s bid for the event that will be held at Victoria’s Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Grunwald says the entire community made hosting the tournament possible.

“Victoria was able to free up the dates in their arena, which was a key thing, and then they put together a very attractive package through some great benefactors in the Victoria area,” said Grunwald. “To be able to host a first-class event there, to make the investment that’s necessary, is critical.”

Another factor was the proud history Victoria has with basketball. The University of Victoria Vikes have long been one of the most dominant collegiate programs in Canada, producing high-calibre players and coaches for decades. Current UVic athletics director Clint Hamilton was also instrumental in Canada’s bid for the Olympic qualifying tournament.

Croatia, Lithuania, and Serbia were also announced as tournament hosts on Thursday.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies