TORONTO – St. Bonaventure alumnus Andrew Nicholson, '12, is one of 21 athletes who have accepted invitations to attend Canada's National Team training camp for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The training camp is set for June 16-24 in Tampa due to travel restrictions in Canada related to the pandemic. Team Canada will use the Toronto Raptors temporary training facilities before traveling to Victoria, British Columbia ahead of the tournament.
Canada is hosting one of four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments at the Victoria Memorial Arena in Victoria, B.C from June 29-July 4, 2021. Fans in Canada can catch all the action live on CBC across its various platforms, both on television and online, as well as streamed on DAZN.
Over the course of the last 18 months, the Friends of Victoria Basketball have worked diligently to make next month's tournament a reality and give Canada a home court advantage as they look to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments feature the 16 best-placed non-qualified teams from the FIBA Basketball World Cup and two highest-ranked countries per region in the FIBA World Ranking, Presented by NIKE.
Canada is in Group A for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and will face Greece (June 29 - 7:05 PM ET) and China (June 30 - 7:05 PM ET) in the Group Phase, while Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey have been drawn into Group B for the Victoria FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Click here for a full tournament schedule.
Each team will play the other two teams in its own group (two games for each team). The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals. The two semi-final winners will advance to the Final, with the winner qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The winner of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria has drawn Group A for the Group Phase of the Tokyo 2020 Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament and will face Iran, France and USA.
Nicholson, a current star for the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), joins several current NBA standouts including Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans), R.J. Barrett (New York Knicks), Khem Birch (Toronto), Oshae Brissett (Indiana), Dillon Brooks (Memphis), Brandon Clarke (Memphis), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City), Cory Joseph (Detroit), Trey Lyles (San Antonio), Mychal Mulder (Golden State), Kelly Olynyk (Houston), Dwight Powell (Dallas), Tristan Thompson (Boston) and Andrew Wiggins (Golden State) among others on the training camp roster. The Canadian national team is coached by Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.
This past season, the Bonnies alumnus averaged nearly 22 points along with over six rebounds per contest in 35 games in the CBA.
Nicholson, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, ranks second all-time in Bonnies scoring with 2,103 points and led the program to its first-ever Atlantic 10 championship in 2012. An All-American Honorable Mention selection as a senior when he was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, his No. 44 jersey now hangs in the Reilly Center rafters. He was selected 19th overall in the first round of the NBA Draft and played with Orlando, Brooklyn and Washington before heading overseas to continue his career. Nicholson's Team Canada experience includes the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship where he averaged 15 points in eight games. During the CBA's pandemic hiatus last year, Nicholson played for Canada in the FIBA AmeriCup qualifying series.
Canada is ranked 21st in the FIBA World Ranking and looking to return to the Olympics for the first time since 2000.