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08/12/2010

Warming up for the FIBA World Championships

Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer

Ok, I can admit that basketball is my favorite sport to shoot. Despite my vertically challenged genetics, I played organized basketball well into my 30s. Its one of those games I know instinctively. Perhaps, the one year I coached, or the 5 years I spent as a high school referee, helps to solidify my love of a game I've known since I was little.

Today, I get the luxury of plopping myself down on the baseline of an NBA court and have an unobstructed view (except for ref butt that gets in the way every now and again) of the premiere players. But, believe it or not, I continue to be a huge college (US) fan and devoutly followed The Final Four before everyone started calling it March Madness.

So tonight's assignment to cover the Canada Vs. France exhibition warm-up for the upcoming FIBA World Championships (starting in two weeks in Turkey) was one I happily welcomed. The game on the World stage isn't quite as "clean" or "smooth" as a game in the NBA. They tend to be a bit cruder and a little rougher which makes the plays a bit less predictable - which for photography is always a good thing. There is more scrappy play and scrambles which lend themselves to good pictures. Broken plays also make for nice images.

Tonight's match was a bit sloppy, but Canada did win 69-58. They match up again Friday night at the Air Canada Centre and by the size of the crowd at tonight's game, it should be easy to fall into a seat should you want to.

 
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Canada's Robert Sacre gets an arm full of Boris Diaw 

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Edwin Jackson of France saves a ball from going out of bounds during a pre World Tournament basketball matchup between Canada and France

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Canada's Jermaine Bucknor wraps up the ball while on the floor and keeping it away from Alain Koffi 

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Frances' Ali Traore fouls Robert Sacre during a pre World Tournament basketball matchup


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 Joel Anthony tries to defend against Boris Diaw 

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Robert Sacre gets pinned in by Lombahe-Kahudi and Boris Diaw


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Canada's Joel Anthony goes baseline against Alexis Ajinca of France

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Alain Koffi tries to block the shot of Jevohn Shepherd looks on during a pre World Tournament basketball matchup between Canada and France

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Cool shots!

Where are the French players?? And if you read this, be realistic and practical, not PC.

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