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JWalk126
07-02-2008, 01:20 AM
Canada coach Rautins includes Kepkay for qualifying tournament
Source: FIBA.com (http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/p/newsid/26274/arti.html)

TORONTO (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) – Tyler Kepkay beat out Ryan Bell for the back-up point guard spot in Canada’s national side for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

National team coach Leo Rautins announced his squad and included the 21-year-old Utah Utes playmaker along with most of the players who took part in last year’s FIBA Americas Championship.

NBA big man Joel Anthony has also been included by Leo Rautins, who is gearing his team up for the qualifying event in Athens, Greece, where 12 teams will battle it out for the three remaining places for the Beijing Games.

"Tyler Kepkay, I think a lot of people have no idea who he is," Leo Rautins said.

"I think he has done a great job in this camp. He has really come in and he's played well. He has established a real presence at the point guard position. The backup point guard is a critical role."

The addition of Anthony could be crucial for the Canadians.

The 6ft 9in, 240lb big man played in 24 games for the Miami Heat this past season and averaged nearly 25 minutes per contest after the March trade of Shaquille O’Neal to the Phoenix Suns.

Canada veteran Rowan Barrett is also back in the squad after a five-year hiatus.

Now the mission is to make it to the Beijing Games.

Dave Thomas, a veteran forward from Brampton, Ontario, said: “Every time we huddle up at practice, we break with ‘1-2-3 Olympics.’

“That’s the only thing we’re here for, to make the Olympics. That’s our main goal and we’re focused and ready to go.”

Canada squad for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament: Joel Anthony, Jermaine Anderson, Rowan Barrett, Samuel Dalembert, Carl English, Olu Famutimi, Levon Kendall, Tyler Kepkay, Juan Mendez, Andy Rautins, Dave Thomas, and Jesse Young.


Anthony is Canada’s new sensation
Source: FIBA.com (http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/p/newsid/26282/arti.html)

HAMILTON (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) – There is a real buzz around the Canadian national team just two weeks before Leo Rautins’ men attempt to qualify for the Beijing Games and Joel Anthony is a big reason why.

Rautins could barely contain his enthusiasm when asked about the 6ft 9in, 240lb Anthony after Monday’s 89-67 victory over Lebanon in the Jack Donohue International Classic. The Miami Heat center had nine points and nine rebounds against the Lebanese.

“Joel is a unique player,” Rautins said. “If you look at his body, he’s an athletic freak.

“I was even telling him yesterday that I can’t believe how amazed I am about the improvement in his game offensively.

“He always was a defensive presence and rebounder, but he’s put in a ton of work in his offensive game where now he’s got a consistent mid-range jump shot. He can go up with baby hooks either side (of the basket).”

Rautins says that Anthony, a native of Quebec, had the perfect environment to learn this season.

“And, you can tell that he’s been in a program under Pat Riley where he’s been taught extremely well,” Rautins said.

“He works, he goes to the right places. He’s also just a pleasure to be around. He’ll run through a wall.”