Road To The Olympic Games

Canada Rising

Tony Parker will play for France, could hinder Canada's Olympic chances

Canada's men's basketball team will have to get through San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker in order to get a spot at the Rio Olympics.

Point guard confirms participation despite wife's pregnancy

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) confirmed on Monday that he will play for France's team in July's Olympic qualifying tournament. (Eric Gay/The Associated Press)

Canada's men's basketball team will have to get through San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker in order to get a spot at the Rio Olympics.

The French point guard says he has found a deal with his pregnant wife that will allow him to take part in France's Olympic qualifying tournament this summer. 

Parker had raised the possibility of missing the tournament from July 4-10 and the Olympics — if France qualified — because of the expected birth of his second son in late July.

But Parker told L'Equipe newspaper Monday that he will be available for both events, saying: "I will be at the Olympics if we qualify."

Parker says his wife is making a "big sacrifice" by letting him go and has warned him he "should better bring a medal back home."

The 26th-ranked Canadians need to beat the 5th-ranked French team in the July tournament in order to secure the final spot at the 2016 Olympic games. 

The tournament, to be held in Manila, Phillipines, will have Canada playing in Group A with Turkey (8) and Senegal (31), while France will play in Group B with New Zealand (21) and the host Philippines (28).

The Olympic basketball tournament in Rio de Janeiro will be held from Aug. 6-21.

With files from the Associated Press

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