Sacre Participating In Canada Senior Men's National Team Camp
Robert Sacre is seeking a spot on Canada's Men's Senior National Team.
Robert Sacre is seeking a spot on Canada's Men's Senior National Team.

June 19, 2009

TORONTO - Gonzaga University redshirt sophomore Robert Sacre has begun training with Canada Basketball as a member of the Senior Men's National Team (SMNT).

Sacre is one of 19 players on the June training camp roster.

After the launch in 2008, the "ROAD WARRIORS" return for an intense three-phase season during which the team will compete against seven national teams and club teams in Spain, Italy and Puerto Rico, all in preparation for the FIBA Americas Championships for Men Aug. 26-Sept. 6 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"Our ultimate objective for the Senior Men's Team this summer is to qualify for the FIBA World Championships in 2010 and the journey begins now," said Maurizio Gherardini, Managing Director of the SMNT. "We have put together a rigorous three-month training and competition schedule that we believe will help us achieve this goal."

Sacre played in just five games for the Bulldogs last season as a sophomore. He missed fall camp and the early part of the season after having surgery to repair a non-displaced stress fracture, then re-injured the same foot early in December that ultimately sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He did not require a second surgery.

The SMNT squad began a young men's development camp earlier this week that runs until Monday. As part of Canada Basketball's long range strategy, the new phase is dedicated to identifying and developing top young Canadian prospects who are playing professionally or in the NCAA. The young prospects camp is being held Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The team will be in Spain June 23-29 for exhibition games.

"I'm excited to work with these young guys who have the talent and the drive to compete at the international level," said SMNT head coach Leo Rautins. "I have been watching them play with their respective teams throughout the season, and Canada's basketball future looks very bright. I look forward to working with and developing future senior national team players who will one day represent Canada."

The second phase of training camp will take July 18-22, again at Air Canada Centre. This group of athletes will feature many members of the SMNT that played last summer and in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championships. After four days of intense training the team is slated to travel to Italy July 25-Aug. 2 to compete in exhibition games with national teams from Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, and Turkey.

"Competing against national teams in other FIBA zones is great preparation for our team," stated Rautins. "Every country is in the same position, in that we are all competing in zone championships this summer, vying for a spot in the 2010 world event. We have a strong core group of players that have been together for a few years and if we play hard in these European exhibition games, Canada will be in a great position to place well in the FIBA Americas Championships this August."

The final training phase will take place August 12-16 at Air Canada Centre. The team then travels to Puerto Rico for the Tuto Marchand Cup Aug. 18-20. Participating teams include Brazil, Argentina and Puerto Rico. Canada will look to repeat its first-place finish in 2007.

Following a three-day break in Puerto Rico, Canada will moves on to the FIBA Americas Championships Aug. 26-Sept. 6 at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Canada was selected to Group A, playing Uruguay, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico and Puerto Rico in the preliminary round. In total, 10 of the best national teams will compete, with the top four qualifying for the 2010 FIBA World Championship to be played in Turkey.

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