New Grizzlies center Zach Edey pulls his name from mix for Canada's Olympic team

FILE - Purdue's Zach Edey (15) shoots over Indiana's Kel'el Ware during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Jan. 16, 2024, in Bloomington, Ind. Edey is among the headliners of the big men in the upcoming NBA draft.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — New Memphis Grizzlies center Zach Edey announced his decision Sunday to pull his name from consideration to play for Canada in the 2024 Paris Games to focus on his NBA career.

Memphis used the ninth overall selection on the former Purdue center who became the first player in more than 40 years to win The Associated Press’ men’s college basketball player of the year award in back-to-back seasons.

The 7-foot-4 Edey called it a difficult decision not to compete for a spot in the Paris Games. Edey said he's been training nonstop since last summer to win a national title at Purdue and make it to the NBA.

“I have a duty now to properly prepare for all that is coming my way with being drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies,” Edey said in a statement. “The work I put in this summer on my body and my game is critical for me to be the best version of myself.”

Edey said representing Canada remains a dream and he will be the team's biggest fan.

Rowan Barrett, general manager of Canada Basketball's senior men's program, said they were told recently of Edey's plan not to be considered for this team. Barrett said they look forward to having him at a future training camp.

“While we were optimistic about having Zach join us in training camp, we understand and support him in this difficult decision,” Barrett said in a statement.

Edey has to prove how his game translates to the NBA as one of the league's tallest players this coming season. In 2023-24, only San Antonio’s rookie of the year Victor Wembanyama, Houston’s Boban Marjanovic and Phoenix’s Bol Bol were listed at 7-foot-3 or taller.

This is the latest loss for Canada's roster for the 2024 Olympics.

Barrett said Friday that Golden State is blocking Andrew Wiggins from competing in Paris, while the Warriors countered it was a mutual decision between the team and Wiggins. Wiggins was among the 20 players who received invitations to camp to determine the Olympic roster.


AP Summer Olympics: