Australia will be faced with an elite head coach in Nick Nurse, when Canada comes visiting.
Canada Basketball announced earlier, that the Toronto Raptors head coach had been named to lead Canada’s senior men’s national team ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
Nurse led the Raptors to their first NBA championship in franchise history. He is also the only coach to lead two different teams (Iowa Energy, Rio Grande Valley Vipers) to an NBA G League Championship and was selected as head coach of the NBA G League All-Stars three times.
“I’m looking forward to working with this talented group of young players, and to seeing what we can do on the competitive global basketball stage," Nurse said. "I love the international game. I also see this as a real chance for me to learn from the world’s best, and for us to represent Canada with pride and distinction.”
Nurse, who has been known for his unconventional strategies in the recent NBA playoffs, will prove to be a challenge for the Boomers. He made headlines when the Raptors defended MVP Stephen Curry with a box-and-one defence, something that's not usually deployed in the NBA.
“Yeah, I mean, listen, I don’t really care," Nurse said back then. "I don’t really give a crap, is my line. Like, I mean, if things work, I don’t care if I go out there and four guys stand on their head and we get a stop, right? And it was very effective."
Expect the Boomers to be kept on their toes, with Nurse on the sidelines.
Canada will play the Boomers at Perth’s RAC Arena on 16 & 17 August.
Team USA head coach, Gregg Popovich has been complimentary of the Boomers' potential this World Cup.
“It’s obviously a talented group, they’re NBA players for a reason so that goes without saying, but beyond that, the group has a wonderful basketball IQ so to speak. They’re basketball players, they’re not just one-on-one players, they’re people who understand how to play and they enjoy playing with each other."
Team USA will also face off against the Boomers in two highly-anticipated games at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on 22 & 24 August.
“Australians love watching basketball, particularly the NBA, and TEG Live is delighted to be able to bring these seven internationals of significance importance, featuring some of the NBA’s finest players and coaches to our shores this August,” said TEG CEO, Geoff Jones.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China (31 August - 15 September 2019) will be the biggest edition of FIBA's flagship event, with a record 32 participating teams playing 92 games over 16 days.
Canada is in Group H along with Senegal, Lithuania and Australia for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
For the first time, the FIBA Basketball World Cup will qualify seven teams directly for the following year's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
For additional information on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, visit http://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2019.
CANADA BASKETBALL V AUSTRALIAN BOOMERS
Friday 16 August 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth at 5.30pm (local)
Saturday 17 August 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth at 5.30pm (local)
Book now at Ticketek