Gonzaga-Bound Olynyk Helps Canada To Junior Title
June 19, 2009
DOUAI, France - Gonzaga University-bound Kelly Olynyk was named the MVP at the Douai World Junior Basketball Tournament south of Lille, France.
A native of Kamloops, B.C., and graduate of South Kamloops High, Olynyk helped Canada to the title as teams prepare for the U19 FIBA World Championships July 2-12 in Auckland, New Zealand. He signed a letter-of-intent with Gonzaga this past spring.
Canada, Puerto Rico, France, Lithuania and Australia all played at the Douai World Junior Basketball Tournament. There was also a representative from the United States called the USA 2K Sports, but none of the players will be on the USA team that competes in Auckland.
When the Douai event finished on earlier this week, the Canadians, Puerto Ricans and French all had three wins in five games while the USA 2K Sports, Lithuania and Australia were each 2-3. Canada was declared the winner on the tiebreaker.
Olynyk scored 17 points in Canada's 86-78 win over Lithuania that secured the title. He was 8-for-18 from the field and grabbed 7 rebounds. The 6-10, 215-pound forward/guard had 15 points in a 77-76 win over Puerto Rico, going 6-of-10 from the field and hauling in 12 boards. He had 16 points on a 7-for-12 night from the field in an 82-77 setback to Australia and scored 21 points in a 79-71 victory over France in the opening round. He went 8-of-16 from the field including 5-of-9 from 3-point range against France.
Canada's U19 coach is Greg Francis, a member of Canada Basketball's National Elite Development Academy program.
"Our guys really played hard throughout the tournament," said Francis, a former senior national team guard. "This is such a great win for our team and the experience of playing tough countries outside our zone will go a long way in helping our guys prepare for the (U19) FIBA World Championship next month."
Puerto Rico finished second to Canada, followed by France, USA 2K Sports, Lithuania and Australia.
Incoming Gonzaga freshman Mangisto Arop of Edmonton, Alberta, was also a member of the Canadian U19 team but was sidelined in the Douai tourney with an ankle injury.
Last summer Olynyk was a member of the Canadian Junior Men's National Team and played in the FIBA Americas U18 tournament in Formosa, Argentina.
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