Men's Basketball

Nickeil Alexander-Walker to represent Team Canada in Paris

Former Hokie standout becomes second-ever Tech men's basketball Olympian

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TORONTO – Former Virginia Tech men's basketball star Nickeil Alexander-Walker is one of 12 athletes selected to represent Team Canada at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 as announced by Canada Basketball and the Canadian Olympic Committee Wednesday.

Alexander-Walker, who competed for the Hokies from 2017-2019, guided the program to its first-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2019. He compiled a 47-21 record in the maroon and orange. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 13.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 46.4% overall and 38.3% from three in his two seasons in Blacksburg.

With his selection, Alexander-Walker joins Tech's all-time leading scorer Bimbo Coles as the only two Hokies to become Olympians in program history. Coles represented Team USA in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, earning a bronze medal.

Canada Basketball's Senior Men’s National Team successfully qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as one of the top two teams from the Americas region at the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023. The team secured the berth with an 88-85 victory over Spain in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals.

They went on to capture a historic bronze medal – the first medal at a men’s basketball World Cup in Canadian history – with a 127-118 win over the United States. In the bronze medal game, Dillon Brooks’ 39 points set a FIBA World Cup record for most points scored in a medal-winning game and a Senior Men’s National Team scoring record for most points in a single game.

Canada went 6-2 in the World Cup, including key victories over several top-five ranked federations. Eight players from Canada’s bronze medal-winning team will represent Canada this summer in Paris.

Canada’s roster features 11 players with NBA experience, including team captain Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk, who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors, has played 756 games across 11 seasons in the league. Internationally, Olynyk has been a member of Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team since 2010, when he made his debut at the 2010 FIBA World Championship at just 19-years-old.

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be the first time since Sydney 2000 that Canada’s women’s and men's basketball teams will compete together at an Olympic Games. 

Canada’s lone Olympic medal in basketball came at Berlin 1936, when it was a much different game. Facing the United States in the final, heavy rain had turned the clay and sand tennis court on which the game was being played into mud, making it difficult to dribble. That contributed to a low score, with the Americans winning 19-8 to give Canada silver. The Canadian inventor of the game, James Naismith, presented the medals. Canada would go on to compete in the next three men’s Olympic basketball tournaments (1948, 1952, 1956). That was followed by appearances in 1964, 1976, 1984, 1988, and 2000.

Basketball will take place July 27 to August 11 (Day 1 to 16). Canada was drawn into Group A and will face Greece on July 27 (Day 1) at 3:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. local time. On July 30 (Day 4), Canada will face Australia at 7:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. local time, before wrapping up the group phase against Spain on August 2 (Day 7) at 11:15 a.m. ET / 5:15 p.m. local time. All group phase games will be played at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille. The men's quarterfinals begin on August 6 (Day 11) and the tournament will move to the Bercy Arena in Paris for the elimination stage.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.

The latest Team Canada Paris 2024 roster can be found here.