Andrew Wiggins ready to help Canada’s Olympic basketball hopes


The Canadian men’s basketball team will be getting a big boost for its big Olympic qualifier in late June.

Canada Basketball says Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins is planning to play for the national men’s team in the Olympic qualifying tournament later this summer in Victoria.

Wiggins hinted as much with in Instagram post on Monday with a picture of him in his Canadian workout gear.

Warriors teammate Steph Curry acknowledged the post with a message, and Canada head coach Nick Nurse reposted the photo on his Instagram account.

While the Warriors were eliminated from the NBA’s new play-in tournament by the Memphis Grizzlies, Wiggins put together a solid season as the Toronto native was the team’s second leading scorer in averaging 18.6 points per game.

The news comes at a good time for Canada. Last month, Denver Nuggets start Jamal Murray, of Kitchener, Ont., tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a regular-season game — a big blow to Canada’s men’s team in its quest for an Olympic berth.

WATCH | Jamal Murray suffers knee injury: 

Nuggets’ Jamal Murray of Kitchener, Ont., needs to be helped off the floor after suffering a left knee injury in the 4th quarter of Monday’s game against the Warriors. 0:59

Wiggins, 26, played for Canada in 2015 at the 2016 Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico City. 

Wiggins was picked first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 NBA draft.

Toronto native and New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett says he’s planning to play for Canada.

Canada must win its last-chance qualifying tournament June 29 to July 4 in Victoria to clinch a berth in the Tokyo Olympics. Canada’s women’s team has already qualified.

Canada fell one win short of qualifying for the Olympics that year, losing 79-78 to Venezuela in the semifinals.

The Canadian men’s team has not qualified for the Olympics since 2000 in Sydney, Australia. 

WATCH | Nurse joins North Courts crew:

NBA Champion Nick Nurse joins Vivek, Meghan, and Jevohn to talk about how he keeps up with all the Canadian talent, his early meetings with the Men’s national team, and how life changed for him after the Raptors championship. 11:25

Read more at CBC.ca