Odessa’s Aaron Doornekamp is among 16 players who have been invited to audition for the Canadian men’s basketball team for the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
The group will convene in Toronto Sunday for a six-day camp. A 12-man team will be chosen for the competition, which will commence Tuesday, July 21.
Doornekamp, a graduate of Ernestown Secondary School who was a member of three national university championship teams at Carleton, was the outstanding player in the CIS in 2008. He played for Canada in the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the 2008 Olympic-qualifying tournament and the 2010 world championship.
A 6-7 forward, Doornekamp has been playing professionally in Europe for the past several seasons, most recently with the Fraport Skyliners, a team from Frankfurt in the German first division.
Dave Smart, the former Queen’s Golden Gaels star who was Doornekamp’s coach at Carleton—and is also his uncle—is one of the assistants on coach Jay Triano’s staff.
The Pan Am tournament is an eight-team affair, with Canada in a four-team preliminary pool with Mexico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic. The U.S., Puerto Rico, Brazil and Venezuela comprise the other grouping.
Canada has never finished higher than fourth at the Pan Am Games (1983, Caracas). The Canadians were seventh in 2007 and sixth in 2011.
Among the world’s teams, the U.S. is ranked No. 1, Argentina No. 3, Brazil No. 9, Puerto Rico 15th, Mexico 19th, the Dominican Republic 20th, Canada 25th and Venezuela 27th.