Fresh off his late-season glow up with the Pacers, Oshae Brissett, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, is one of 21 players invited to Canada’s national team training camp ahead of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria, the team’s federation announced.
Brissett, who spent the 2019-20 season on two-way contract with the Raptors, reunited with former Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren in Indiana and now has a chance to link up once again with Nick Nurse, Team Canada’s head coach.
After finishing the season shooting 42 percent from three on 3.7 attempts per game while demonstrating keen instincts as a cutter and showing flashes of weak-side rim protection, the Canadian forward is one of 14 NBA players listed among the 21-player pool that will eventually be trimmed to twelve.
Upon reporting to camp, which runs from June 16-24 in Tampa, where the Raptors played the season due to quarantine restrictions, Brissett will face direct competition at the forward position from Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors), Kelly Olynyk (Houston Rockets), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), Trey Lyles (San Antonio Spurs), Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies), and Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies), which at the very least should make for valuable offseason work against other talent from around the league.
For the tournament, Canada is in Group A and will face Greece (June 29) and China (June 30) while Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey compete in Group B. The countries that finish in first and second in both groups will advance to the Semi-Finals and only the winner of the Final will move on to the Olympics in Tokyo.
If Canada emerges victorious in spite of key absences from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, and Chris Boucher, who are all dealing with injuries, the winner of the qualifying tournament in Victoria has drawn Group A for the Group Phase of the Olympics and will face Iran, France and USA — the latter of which could include Myles Turner.
“If I’m fortunate enough to be put in that position to play for Team USA, of course, I’m going to give it all I’ve got,” said Turner during exit interviews. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not that many people can say they’re an Olympian. I’m going to continue to attack my rehab, day in and day out, continue to work on myself and work on my game and get myself to where I want to be. It’s definitely the ultimate goal. The basketball stage doesn’t get any bigger than that.”
In addition to Canada, Croatia (Split), Serbia (Belgrade), and Lithuania (Kaunas), including a roster headlined by Domantas Sabonis, will also host FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
On the coaching side, though Nate Bjorkgren’s future with the Pacers is still being considered, Nick Nurse said he expects his long-time right-hand man to be available as part of his Canada Staff.