Toronto Raptors big Khem Birch has apparently had a change of heart.
The 28-year-old pending free agent will not play for the Canadian Men's National Team at the upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifiers in Victoria, BC later this month. Birch had previously said his plan had been to play for Canada this summer, but his name was not on the team's roster for the tournament released Wednesday.
Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Clarke, and Tristan Thompson will also not be playing with the team after initially accepting an invitation to join the team's training camp earlier in the Spring.
The lack of frontcourt depth has forced Team Canada to turn to some intriguing college prospects including Charles Bediako, a 19-year-old four-star prospect committed to play at Alabama next season. He is joined by Purdue's Zach Edey, a 7-foot-3 teenager from Toronto.
Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin, a former four-star high school prospect who had a breakout freshman campaign in 2020-21 will also join the team in the backcourt. The 18-year-old opted to return to college for his sophomore year next season, but he's certainly a name to keep in mind for the 2022 NBA Draft.
While Oshae Brissett and Dillon Brooks are listed on the team's qualifying roster, they will not play in Victoria, according to Sportsnet's Michael Grange.
The tournament will tip-off on June 29 when Canada takes on Greece.