03 - 11
July 2021
13 Charles Bediako (CAN)
Team Announcement
to read

Bediako, Edey, Houstan, Mathurin headline star-studded Canadian squad

RIGA (Latvia) - Canada showed they mean business in their hunt for a second FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup title as they included star talents Charles Bediako, Zach Edey, Caleb Houstan and Bennedict Mathurin among their 14 players for the final training camp ahead of the 2021 global showcase.

Canada head coach Paul Weir initially selected 18 players for his first training camp last week at Monteverde Academy in Orlando, Florida before heading to Latvia with 14 players. Bediako, Edey and Mathurin all previously participated in the Canadian senior national team's training camp ahead of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and will be major leaders of the team that hopes to give the North Americans another U19 crown following 2017.

Canada's preliminary roster for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021
Charles Bediako Javonte Brown-Ferguson Kyle Duke Zach Edey Elijah Fisher
Khalfani Hill Caleb Houstan Enoch Kalambay Bennedict Mathurin Thomas Ndong
Ryan Nembhard Nana Owusu-Anane Dominic Parolin Olivier-Maxence Prosper  

Bediako will be one of the team's most experienced players as he played for Canada at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018 as well as the U19 World Cup in 2019 besides the FIBA U16 Americas Championship 2017 and FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2018.

Houstan also has witnessed the global stage, playing with Bediako at the U17 World Cup 2018 and he also played at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship 2019. Houstan is a projected lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft who will be attending the University of Michigan in the coming season.

Houstan's teammate in high school and at the U16 continental championship two summers ago was Ryan Nembhard, the younger brother of Andrew Nembhard, who played at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2016 and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Mathurin, for his part, will be making his Canada debut after having coming up in the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico and then attending the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in 2020. The Haitian-Canadian from Montreal last season attended the University of Arizona, where he played with Azuolas Tubelis of Lithuania, whom he will face in Group A in Latvia - along with Senegal and Japan. Fellow Montreal native Olivier-Maxence Prosper also attended the NBA Academy Latin America and twice participated at the BWB Global Camp (2019 and 2020).

One of the other standout names on Canada's list is Elijah Fisher, who has been one of the most hotly-followed players in the country for years already. Red Bull featured Fisher in a documentary at age 12 while the country's national broadcaster CBC Radio introduced "Canada's 13-year-old basketball phenomenon" to its listeners in 2018 with the title "Now or Never". Despite the years of the attention - just put his name in YouTube and you can watch videos for hours - Fisher only turned 17 in January and can play at this competition in 2023 as well.

One other topic of regular interest in Canadian rosters is the breakdown of from where the players come. Ontario - with the hotbed of Toronto - still remains the dominant force for Canada Basketball with nine of the 14 players on the final list. But Quebec - with the ever-growing Montreal hoops scene - has four players among the finalists with the final player coming from British Columbia on the west coast of the country.