Raptors' Nick Nurse Confirms He Will Coach Canada at 2019 FIBA World Cup

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2019

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse smiles during a media conference after Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors Friday, June 7, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Nick Nurse was already a hero in Canada after leading the Toronto Raptors to an NBA title, but he now has a chance to make an even bigger impact for the country's basketball prospects.

The Raptors head coach confirmed Sunday he will coach Team Canada at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, per ESPN.

"It's something I'm looking forward to doing," he said of taking the role.

The 51-year-old is coming off his first year as an NBA head coach, replacing the 2017-18 Coach of the Year in Dwane Casey after he was fired following last season. He led the squad to a 58-24 record before helping the team defeat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Additionally, Nurse already has experience in the international game while serving as an assistant for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

"I learned a lot as a coach in that run and I'm hoping this experience will do the same," he said.

He will also try to help bring some respectability to a program that has struggled in international competition as of late.

Canada failed to qualify at the most recent FIBA World Cup, and the group hasn't competed in the Olympics since 2000. However, bringing a proven head coach to a roster that could have NBA players like Jamal Murray and Tristan Thompson could make this an intriguing team heading into the summer event.