June 24, 2002
By Tim Murray
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Team Canada will enter the 2002 World Basketball Championship with a bit of momentum after Former Santa Clara star Steve Nash helped them earn a bronze medal in the Championship of the Americas Basketball Tournament last summer.
On the strength of their third place finish in the Championship of the Americas Tournament, the Canadians earned a spot in the Worlds. Canada was placed in Pool A, alongside Yugoslavia, Spain and Angola.
Canada will open the World Basketball Championship campaign with a preliminary round game against Spain in Conseco Fieldhouse on August 29. Its other two preliminary games will be against Angola in the RCA Dome on August 30, followed by a game against Yugoslavia in Conseco Fieldhouse on August 31. The finals of the World Championship will be played in Conseco Fieldhouse on September 8.
The Canadians feature a pair of NBA players in Nash, an all-star performer with the Dallas Mavericks and center Todd MacCullochof the New Jersey Nets.
In the bronze medal game between Canada and Puerto Rico, Nash recorded a double-double, leading all scorers with 22, which included 12-of-13 from the free-throw line stripe, and dishing out 11 assists to go along with his five rebounds. MacCulloch, not to be outdone, scored 14 on 7-of-12 shooting.
Throughout the entirety of the Championship of the Americas Tournament, Nash led the Canadian scorers by averaging 16.1 points per game, while dishing out 90 assists. He also led the team in three-pointers made (30) and free throw percentage (.936).
Canada is hardly a one-dimensional team, however, as it features three players besides Nash who averaged double figures in scoring during the tournament. MacCulloch turned in an impressive 14.8 points per game while leading the team in rebounding (68).
Andrew Kwiatkowski turned in 13.7 points per game in the seven games he played and Sherman Hamilton added 10.6 points per outing of his own, both showing they can be lethal scoring threats when needed.
Guard Prospoer Karangwa also showed his ability to hit from beyond the arc by canning 14-of-30 (.467) three-pointers throughout the tournament. Karangwa also hauled in 23 rebounds and dished out 15 assists in the Tournament.