Canada Makes Statement on International Basketball Stage
R.J. Barrett scored 18-points and pulled down 12-rebounds as the Canadians made a statement on the international basketball stage at the FIBA U19 World Cup.
After upsetting the mighty Americans, the dream of being crowned champions at the World Cup became closer to reality, and Canadian superstar prospect Barrett was not going to let the Canadians falter in the finals. With another dominant performance, the Canadians beat the Italians by a score of 79-60 on Sunday to win Canada’s first ever basketball world title.
“You’re on top of that podium and you know you’ve won it all,” said Roy Rana, the Canadian head coach. “It hasn’t happened before and I think some of us just didn’t even know what to make of it. It’s always beautiful to hear our anthem and to hear it in this context is so special.”
It cannot be understated how important this victory was for Canada, as the country continues to work towards finding its niche in the basketball world. There has been plenty of talk about the golden age in Canadian basketball, but it seems like the star that Canada has been waiting for is 17-year old R.J. Barrett, a sure-fire lottery pick once he becomes draft eligible.
“I think everybody had chills,” said Rana. “Just an incredible energy and pride and emotion. It’s hard to explain. Its hard to describe.”
The next step for Canada Basketball is to make their presence felt on the Olympic stage, but until then, the talent that keeps coming out of the country is exciting!