Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Spurs Point Guard Cory Joseph Looking Forward to Playing for Canada This Summer

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Spurs Point Guard Cory Joseph Looking Forward to Playing for Canada This Summer

Article excerpt

Joseph looking forward to playing for Canada

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TORONTO - Cory Joseph believes Canada's star-studded young basketball team could learn something from his San Antonio Spurs.

The 23-year-old from Pickering, Ont., is excited about playing for what could be a stacked Canadian squad in this summer's Pan American Games in Toronto and the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament, but he said star power alone won't be enough.

"In order for us to succeed we've got to realize we haven't done anything yet," Joseph said Sunday night. "We're a young talented group but we don't have much experience so we've got to be focused and try to soak up as much time together as we can to build chemistry.

"That's what this (Spurs) team has a great deal of, we have a lot of chemistry, and that's why we look so good out there on the court sometimes."

Joseph, who had about 30 family members and friends at the Spurs' 87-82 loss to the Raptors on Sunday night, was a solid plus-19 -- a team best -- in the 11 minutes he played, finishing with four points, a rebound, an assist and a steal.

Joseph was drafted 29th overall in 2011 by the Spurs. In his three-plus seasons and three trips down to the D League, he has patiently watched and learned. He's finally stepped into the spotlight this season, starting 14 games in place of injured point guard Tony Parker. Around the halfway point in the season, he already has more points and has played more minutes than any season in his career.

"He's been a real warrior in the sense that he's played (point guard, shooting guard), and even (small forward) sometimes," said coach Gregg Popovich. "He developed his game offensively a little bit more each year. He's always been a hard worker and a blue-collar kind of guy that got the most out of his abilities, but he's gained more confidence offensively and done a wonderful job for us. …

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