Canada’s Chris Boucher withdraws from World Cup for personal reasons

Michael Grange explains the reasons why some of Canada’s top basketball talent decided not play for the national team.

Another day, another loss for the Canadian men’s basketball program ahead of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Toronto Raptors centre Chris Boucher is withdrawing his participation from Team Canada for personal reasons, Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reported Thursday.

In other news, as reported by Grange earlier Thursday, Kelly Olynyk will take a week off with a bruised knee, but will play for Canada moving forward after slipping on a wet spot during the team’s exhibition victory over Nigeria on Wednesday night.

Boucher is the latest NBA player to pull out of the World Cup for Canada from its initial list of 29 players. He joins Tristan Thompson, Dwight Powell, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, as well as the injured R.J. Barrett and Jamal Murray, among others.

Boucher was seen in street clothes Wednesday night after being a full participant during the first two days of camp, and veteran Canadian big man Owen Klassen was seen on the bench, seemingly as a replacement for Boucher.

Canada will next play against Nigeria again Friday in Winnipeg before departing for the rest of its exhibition schedule in Australia and finally arriving in China for the start of the World Cup on Aug. 31. Its first game of the tournament is slated for Sept. 1 against Australia.

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