Nick Nurse officially announced as Canada Basketball head coach

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Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse looks on as his team plays the Cleveland Cavaliers in first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada Basketball officially announced this morning that Nick Nurse will become the national team’s newest head coach, and Gordie Herbert as associate coach, as the country enters the FIBA World Cup this summer to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

“I’m extremely excited, honoured, and humbled to be here,” said Nurse at OVO Athletic Centre this morning, who will be locked in to coach Canada through the 2020 Olympics next summer should they qualify.

Per Blake Murphy of The Athletic, Nurse said that he first considered the role before the playoffs started, but had to make sure his timeline along with family and Raptors priorities were aligned. Canada’s search for a new head coach began in March and went on longer than expected – waiting for Nurse may have been part of that reason.

This will be a pivotal year for Team Canada, with more NBA-level talent to compete than there are roster spots. The official roster hasn’t been announced yet, but the “usuals” are expected: Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Dillon Brooks, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell – with a likelihood that Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and newly-minted Knicks rookie star R.J. Barrett will join this summer as well.

Ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Canada will play a slew of friendly-exhibition games in Australia in late August against Australia, New Zealand, and USA. This will be the first FIBA World Cup Canada has participated in since 2010, and the team will look to qualify for its first Olympics since Sydney 2000 Olympics.

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