By Ellen Tsaprailis
Photos by Canada Basketball
Three former Ravens with storied basketball careers are representing Canada at the FIBA World Cup in China starting Sept. 1, 2019.
Brothers Phil and Thomas Scrubb, as well as Kaza Kajami-Keane, are suiting up for Team Canada and will play in the tournament’s Group H against Senegal, Lithuania and Australia. The first game is against Australia.
Phil Scrubb is on the starting lineup and feels lucky to be a part of the national team.
“Whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, I just want to contribute as much as I can to the team’s success,” he says. “We have a lot of good players, and I think we play well together.
“It’s always great to play with Tommy and Kaza,” says Phil Scrubb. “It’s great to have guys from Carleton with the national team and I hope more guys within the program get a chance to be on the team in the future.”
Coached by Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors, the Canadian team played seven pre-World Cup games against Australia, Nigeria and New Zealand. They won four and lost three.
“These games have been good for us,” says Scrubb. “We faced a lot of adversity so far and that’s going to help us when it gets time to play the real games. We’re in a tough group so we’re going to have to play at a high level to advance.”
Scrubb played for the Carleton Ravens from 2010 to 2015 when the team won five nationals in a row and he won the country’s player of the year three times in a row. He has played professionally in Europe since graduating and has signed a one-year deal with Spanish club Movistar Estudiantes.
Thomas Scrubb started at Carleton in 2009 but had to sit out the 2009-2010 season. From then, he was a part of five straight national championships with the Ravens, was national defensive player of the year in 2014 and 2015, and won the most valuable player of the national championships in 2013. He began his professional career in Europe in 2015 and is now playing for French club SIG Strasbourg. Before heading off to training camp with the Canadian national team in early August, Thomas married Ravens women’s basketball alumna Catherine Traer.
Kajami-Keane recently signed with Germany’s Mitteldeutscher BC for the 2019-2020 season in the Basketball Bundesliga league. He played collegiately for Illinois State, Cleveland State and Carleton. Kajami-Keane won two national championships with the Ravens, and in 2017 won the national most valuable player award. He was also named Carleton’s Male Athlete of the Year.
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