Mitchell unveils Canadian men’s U-23 roster for GLOBL JAM showcase

Creighton's Ryan Nembhard (2) drives against Xavier's Adam Kunkel (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo)

The Canadian national under-23 teams continue their preparation for the GLOBL JAM tournament, a first-of-its-kind international basketball showcase in Canada featuring women’s and men’s teams from around the world competing in an Under-23 event.

The tournament will be taking place in Toronto from July 5-10, and the event will look to shore up a comparative lack of tournament options for Canadian athletes. The showcase will be held at Mattamy Athletic Centre and broadcast nationally on Sportsnet.

Nathaniel Mitchell will guide the senior men’s national team. He most most recently coached alongside Nate Bjorkgren during the first two windows of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers, helping Canada open with an undefeated 4-0 record.

Mitchell also served as an assistant coach on Nick Nurse’s senior men’s team staff for the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which took place in Victoria last summer.

Joining Tim Micallef on Tim and Friends, Mitchell unveiled the training camp roster for Canada — with players from the NCAA, U Sports, the CEBL, and some who are uncommitted.

Keeshawn Barthelemy, Marcus Carr, Quincy Guerrier, Thomas Kennedy, Liam McChesney, Emanuel Miller, Frank Mitchell, Addison Patterson, Charles Bediako, Danilo Djuricic, Kur Jongkuch, Elijah Mahi, Cashius McNeilly, Leonard Miller and Ryan Nembhard are on the roster.

Mitchell is excited about a lot of players on the roster, like Carr, who was a third-team All-Big 12 at Texas, and Nembhard, who was the Big East Freshman of the Year at Creighton

“We had a large depth chart, we tried to target all the athletes within our system that have come through our system before. Some of them have kind of slipped through the cracks …,” Mitchell explained about the player selection process.

“We probably looked at about 60 to 70 names and then narrowed it down and narrowed it down some more. We had an open tryout last week, where we’re gonna take about four of those guys into camp. So we’ve done a lot of homework, we’ve watched a lot of film on some guys, and we’ve come to this number here. Can’t wait to get it going.”

What was also important for the players and Mitchell was to get the opportunity to showcase themselves at home in front of friends, family and the rest of the country.

They also have a tough challenge ahead of them going up against Baylor, which won the 2021 NCAA championship with head coach Scott Drew. Baylor is representing the United States.

“They’re very good every year defensively but we look forward to that challenge,” Mitchell explained. “I think that team over here, they’ve been able to get some continuity. And I think that’s what we’re building here. Italy and Brazil will also be coming to play in the tournament

“I think it’s one of the reasons I got the opportunity to coach this team is continuity through our whole country and our whole Federation, from the senior men’s level team, all the way down to the U17 teams that are getting ready for camp now for their world championship run. So we’re building something here as well with our continuity. And I think the other countries that are coming are going to be in that same boat.”

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