Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray took to social media Tuesday to announce he will play for Canada next summer in Olympic qualifying and hopefully the 2020 Olympics.
Murray’s decision to make his intentions known early is seen as a major boost for Team Canada in its efforts to recruit other top countrymen to participate in international play. Moments after Murray made his announcement, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also declared his intent to play for Canada next summer. According to a statement given by Murray’s agent Mike George to Sportsnet, the Nuggets’ guard sees himself as one of the leaders of the program. “I wanted to get the word out early because I feel like I have a leadership role and want to let the other guys know I’m all in, I’m ready to play,” said Murray via George. “I feel healthy and I’m ready to go ahead and try to help us qualify for the Olympics.” Murray has made 12 appearances for Canada and won a silver medal with the team in 2015 at the Pan American Games. He averaged 16.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in the tournament.