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UNLV Basketball standouts Bennett, Birch to play for Team Canada

Canada gets bigger before tournament play.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Team Canada got some front court help with the addition of former UNLV standouts Anthony Bennett and Khem Birch for July's Olympic qualifier.

After one year at UNLV in which he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds, Bennett was the number one overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. He was the first Canadian to be selected first overall. His NBA road has been a bumpy one since then, he's spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Toronto Raptors, never averaging more than 16 minutes per game in a season.

Birch spent two years at UNLV after a season at Pittsburgh. In both seasons he was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Birch left UNLV with a year of eligibility remaining, and was not selected in the 2014 NBA Draft. On June 14th he signed a two-year contract with Olympiacos B.C. of the Euroleague.

Canada kicks off Olympic qualifying play July 5th against Turkey in Manila.