Spurs No. 1 draft pick and former Texas standout point guard Cory Joseph will join the Canadian National Team for the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina.
The Toronto Star reports that in the second phase of its training, which will begin Friday at Ryerson University in Toronto.
“It’s an honor to play for your country and I’m excited to get on the floor and represent Canada as best as I can,” Joseph told the Star. “I know we have a young, great group, with Joel (Anthony), (Carl) English and (Andy) Rautins coming in.
“Hopefully we come back with the gold, but if not, qualify for the Olympics.”
Joseph, who averaged 10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists for Texas last season as a freshman. He was a surprise choice for the second of two Spurs No. 1 draft picks at No. 29 after being pegged by most draft analysts as a likely second-round selection.
The Canadian team will begin its competition with two exhibition games against Belgium later this week.
The international play can only help Joseph, who will benefit from playing against the international level of talent he will face at the FIBAs. That work should also help him develop as he attempts to earn playing time as a rookie behind Tony Parker at point guard for the Spurs once the lockout ends.
The Spurs need somebody to fill in behind Parker. The trade of George Hill and Chris Quinn’s decision to play in Russia have left them with a void.
Joseph will have a chance for playing time in his rookie season if he’s ready for it.