Young basketball Nats stack up

Head coach Jay Triano puts the Canadian national men's basketball team through its paces at the Air...

Head coach Jay Triano puts the Canadian national men's basketball team through its paces at the Air Canada Centre as it prepares for the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship later this month in Venezuela. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:20 PM ET

At the recent Summer Universiade held in Kazan, Russia, Canadian men’s basketball coach Jay Triano showed his team a video from when Canada beat the United States in the semifinals at the 1983 event.

Sort of a motivational tool heading into the tournament.

On the Canadian team in 1983 was Triano and 6-foot-11 centre Greg Wiltjer, whose son, Kyle, played on this year’s Canadian team in Kazan.

“They didn’t know who half the players were,” said Triano, with a laugh. “And it was Kyle Wiltjer’s dad, who (Kyle) didn’t recognize, and me.”

That 85-77 semifinal victory is considered one of the biggest wins ever for Canada on the international basketball scene, given that such names as Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and Ed Pinckney played on the American side.

“Oh, but they all knew Barkley, Pinckney and Malone,” said Triano, of the 1983 semi. “That brings it all into reality. The last Olympics I played in was ’88 and these guys are going, ‘I wasn’t born.’ ”

 


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