Canada Adds France to Olympic Exhibition Schedule

Another exhibition game announced for Canada's SMNT

The second leg of Canada’s SMNT Olympic tune-ups was announced earlier today in a press release from the French Basketball Federation.

Earlier this year, Canada Basketball and USA Basketball announced an exhibition matchup, slated to tip off at 10:30 PM EST in Las Vegas on July 10th.

Nine days later on July 19th, Canada Basketball will take on France at the Co’Met Arena in the city of Orléans, which is located about 350 km south of Lille (where the Olympic Group Stages will take place). Given that Canada kicks off their Olympic tournament on July 27th, arriving in France at least a week earlier should give the SMNT enough time to acclimate and settle in.

While exhibition games don’t affect the W/L record, it’s an important ramp-up opportunity for the players and the coaching staff. Tinkering with offensive sets, trying new defensive schemes and solidifying a rotation are all invaluable mechanisms to set up the SMNT for success at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Last year, in preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Canada played in 5 exhibition games against strong competition (Germany, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Dominican Republic), even winning the DBB Supercup in the process. It looks like Mike Bartlett and co. are following a similar blueprint this summer and I would expect more tune-up games to be announced in the coming weeks.