Canadian men’s Olympic Qualifying basketball tournament coming to Victoria

Canadian men's Olympic Qualifying basketball tournament coming to Victoria
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The Canadian Men's Basketball team will host a FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria next summer

An elite international men’s basketball tournament is coming to Victoria.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that Victoria will be one of four locations across the world that will host Olympic Qualifying tournament.

The tournament will feature six teams, with Canada being one of them, and be held at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre between June 23-28 next summer.

As for the other five teams that will be playing in Victoria, that will be determined by an official Draw Ceremony, set to take place at the FIBA Headquarters in Switzerland on November 27.

According to a press release from FIBA, the draw will divide teams into geographically balanced groups among the host nations that include Croatia, Serbia and Lithuania alongside Victoria.

The winner of each of the four tournaments will secure a berth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

Basketball is a sport on the rise in Canada and currently the country boasts a record number of Canadian-born players in the NBA. According to Canada Basketball, 16 Canadians were on NBA opening-night rosters at the start of this season – boasting the most players from a non-U.S. country ever.

This means that there is a very good chance that Victoria basketball fans catch some of the world’s best players wearing the maple leaf next summer. Canada, currently ranked 21st in the world, hasn’t played in the Olympics since 2000.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the Greater Victoria region to host a world class event, as we’ll welcome with open arms some of the top basketball nations in the world to our community this summer,” said Clint Hamilton, Chair of the Victoria FIBA Qualifying Tournament in the release. “I’m certain that hosting this event will leave a lasting legacy on our vibrant basketball and sporting community for years to come.

This marks the second major basketball tournament coming to Victoria in the next year as UVic will host the city’s first-ever Women’s Division I NCAA tournament, set to run at the end of this month.

Ticket information and schedule for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be announced soon.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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