Credit: AFP-Scanpix
Credit AFP-Scanpix

Nate Bjorkgren has been named associate head coach and will lead Canada during the November and February windows of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers, via an official press release.

Canadian Nathaniel Mitchell, who has been a member of the Senior Men’s National Team coaching staff since 2016, will assume the duties of head coach for the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 in Brazil next summer.

Mitchell will also be a lead assistant coach on Bjorkgren’s staff during the November and February windows of the Qualifiers.

“Both Nate and Nathaniel are tremendous coaches within the Senior Men’s National Team Program and to have them committed to coach our team during upcoming FIBA competitions is incredibly valuable to us in pursuit of our long-term goals,” said Rowan Barrett, GM of the Canadian Men's National Team.

“As a result of scheduling conflicts with the NBA, the windows, and other FIBA competitions, we recognize how vital it is to have both coaches involved with our program on a year-round basis.”

Both Bjorkgren and Mitchell have served as assistant coaches on head coach Nick Nurse’s Senior Men’s National Team staff for both the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria this past summer.

“Consistency is critical for the sustained success of this team and that extends beyond the players to our coaching staff as well,” said Nick Nurse, head coach of Canada National Team.

“Having Nate and Nathaniel lead our team during the upcoming FIBA competitions will be not only another important step in their development as coaches but also the continuity and culture we are committed to building as a program.”

Bjorkgren was head coach of the Indiana Pacers last season and previously served as an assistant coach (2018-20) and advanced scout (2017-18) for the Toronto Raptors.

“We believe that we are continuing to build something special with this program and the upcoming Americas Qualifiers windows will be an important first step for us as a team towards qualifying for the World Cup,” said Bjorkgren.

“Having spent time in Toronto with the Raptors, Canada is a special place for myself and my family, and to have the chance to coach the national team is truly an honor.”

A native of Toronto, Mitchell returns home as an assistant coach on Nurses’ Raptors staff this season after spending the previous three seasons (2018-21) in Charlotte as an assistant coach with the Hornets.

Canada is in Group C for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers and will face Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.

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