Canada's Starting Five Tip off 2010-11 NBA Season

Two-time MVP Steve Nash headlines the five Canadians that will be hitting the hardwood for the 2010/11 NBA season which tips off Tuesday, October 26, 2010. Canada’s other NBA players are Joel Anthony (Miami Heat), Andy Rautins (New York Knicks), Jamaal Magloire (Miami Heat) and Samuel Dalembert (Sacramento Kings).

« It is very exciting to see the growth of Canadian athletes in the NBA, » said Wayne Parrish, Executive Director and CEO of Canada Basketball. « There is a great deal of basketball talent in our country, and now with the globalization of the league, our players have a platform to showcase their skills to the world. »

Nash, a 6-foot-3 guard from Victoria led the league in assists last season, with 11 per game while averaging 16.5 points per game. Nash, who was named the starting point guard for the Western Conference squad at the 2010 NBA All-Star game, led the Suns to a third place finish in the conference. He also won the Skills Challenge during the 2010 NBA All-Star weekend and was named to the All NBA Second Team.

Anthony has worked himself into rotation with the star studded Miami Heat this upcoming season through sheer hard work and determination and is expected to have a big role this upcoming season. Standing at 6-foot-9, the defender matched a career high in blocks last season with 1.4 per game while setting career highs in free throw percentage.

The Montreal native had an eventful summer as he re-signed with Miami to a multi-year contract. He also dedicated his time to represent his native Canada at the biggest global basketball event of the year, the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. In the tournament, Anthony was ranked fourth in blocks with 2.2 per game and averaged a team high 10.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Andy Rautins’ NBA dreams came true when he was drafted 38th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. The 6-foot-5 guard played four seasons at Syracuse University and averaged 12.1 points and 4.9 assists as a senior in 2009-10. He finished his collegiate career ranked second on the school’s all-time list for three-point field goals made (282) and attempted (754).

Rautins also represented Canada this summer as a member of the Senior Men’s National Team that competed at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. The three-point shooting specialist also took part in five games with the New York Knicks summer league squad at the 2010 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Former NBA All-star Jamaal Magloire is back with Miami Heat for a third season. During his first two years with the squad, the Toronto native has been a valued enforcer. Magloire re-signed with the team this summer and is expected to provide depth at the centre spot.

Samuel Dalembert is looking to make his mark with the Sacramento Kings after spending eight seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. During his career in Philadelphia, Dalembert posted career averages of 8.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.

The 6-foot-11 centre won the 2009-10 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his contributions to Haiti in response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Since the disaster, Dalembert has continued to be involved in the Haitian recovery effort.