ABA alumni Steve Sir, Kyle Landry, and Jordan Jensen-Whyte are part of the Canada Basketball Men’s National Team competing at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2021, in Graz, Austria from Wednesday (May 26) to Sunday (May 30).
Canada is aiming to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which will take place in Japan this summer.
“Representing Canada is a tremendous honour for us,” Sir said. “Thank you to the friends and family who have supported and believed in us throughout this journey. We are extremely excited to represent our country at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament and earn Canada a 3x3 spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament features 20 teams divided into four pools of five teams. Canada, currently ranked 10th in the FIBA 3x3 Men’s Federation Rankings, is in Pool D along with Latvia (5th), Netherlands (6th), Croatia (25th) and Austria (28th).
Each team plays the other four teams in their respective pools. The top two teams from each pool qualify for the quarter-finals and then play knock-out games all the way to the semifinals. The top three teams will qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Games will be streamed online. The full schedule is available by clicking here.
Sir, Landry, and Jensen-Whyte will be joined on Team Canada by Toronto’s Alex Johnson. The foursome also play together as Team Edmonton on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Team Edmonton competed in six Masters events on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2019 (Chengdu, Mexico City, Saskatoon, Debrecen, Montreal, and Nanjing), which was the most appearances by a new team and tied for the fifth most appearance by any team on the World Tour. The team finished first at the World Tour Nanjing Masters and the Jiangsu Fountask Sports Nanjing Challenger and second at the inaugural World Tour Montreal Masters.
Here’s more about the three Albertans on Team Canada:
Currently the top ranked player in Canada, Sir is no stranger to representing Canada internationally in 3x3. Sir was a member of Team Canada that finished sixth at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018 in Philippines. Ranked 27th overall in the FIBA 3x3 Individual Ranking, Sir has been a staple on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour for the past several seasons as a member of Team Edmonton, and prior to that Team Saskatoon. The Edmonton native was also awarded the MVP trophy at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Nanjing Masters after leading Edmonton to their first-ever World Tour Masters title.
A relative newcomer to 3x3, Landry made his impact felt in his first season in 2019 as he helped Team Edmonton capture several titles, including a first place finish at the WT Nanjing 2019. Landry is the second ranked Canadian in the FIBA 3x3 Individual Ranking (28th overall). Prior to joining Team Edmonton, the Calgary native has represented Canada internationally in 5v5 since 2009 and most recently played during the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Qualifiers in February.
Jensen-Whyte returned in 2019 and will represent Canada in 3x3 for the first time since a seventh place finish at the 2011 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships. Jensen-Whyte, who played five seasons from 2012-2017 for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, also played for Canada in 5v5 at the Taipei 2017 Universiade.