More summer hoops for Olynyk
July, 24, 2014
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Boston Celtics second-year forward Kelly Olynyk is expected to get additional offseason game reps as a member of Canada's senior men's basketball team.
Olynyk reported for camp earlier this week in Toronto before the team, which did not qualify for this year's World Cup in Spain, instead traveled to Slovenia to open an 11-game European exhibition schedule on Thursday.
Olynyk, a Toronto native who grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia, did not play for the national team last summer while sidelined by a case of plantar fasciitis. He did attend camp with the national team and expressed a desire to compete for his county.
"They had me in there for a week or so, just to be and feel a part of [the national program] and to have that chemistry and bond," Olynyk said last summer. "I would love to [compete for Canada]. It's a real sense of pride and passion to play for your country and have your country across chest. It's something I want to do in the future."
With basketball in Canada experiencing a bit of a boom, Olynyk has potential to be part of a senior national team that's being infused with young NBA talent (though the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, Nik Stauskas, and Tyler Ennis were not expected to participate in this year's exhibition slate).
Meeting with reporters earlier this week in Toronto, Olynyk said of the national team's goals this summer: "We’re just trying to come together as a team, build chemistry, putting in a system where we’re not worried about wins and losses, as much as getting experience and trying to get better. I think we definitely have a better situation. It’s a win-win situation. [Playing in the World Championships in Spain] would have been great, but with the challenge ahead of us, we expect to tackle it."
Olynyk's father, Ken, previously coached Canada's junior national program and Olynyk asked about having a coach for a dad.
"He definitely offers me some advice," said Olynyk. "I’ve learned almost everything I know from him, so he’s definitely done his part in me being who I am, and making me the player I am."
(h/t: Red's Army for finding video of Olynyk)