Gaels graduate to play for Team Canada

Tanner Graham in action with the Queen's Gaels in February. (Ian MacAlpine/The Whig-Standard) Ian MacAlpine / Ian MacAlpine/Kingston Whig-Standard/Postmedia Network

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Former Queen’s Gael and Kingston native Tanner Graham will be representing Canada at the FISU 2019 Universiade summer basketball tournament in Naples, Italy, from July 3-11.

Graham, a graduate of La Salle Secondary School, played five years for the Gaels, completing his career this past spring.

The six-foot-seven forward finished his career ranked third on the Queen’s all-time scoring list and last season recorded 15.6 points per game along with 8.1 rebounds per game.

Off the court, he won the U Sports Ken Shields award in 2018-19 for his volunteering and charitable causes.

Graham will join other U Sports athletes competing in the tournament for Canada.

A GoFundMe account has been started for Graham to help pay expenses related to his trip to Italy.

“Being selected for this team is a huge honour and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. However, there is a large cost associated with participating that has to be paid out of pocket by the end of May,” he wrote in a statement on his GoFundMe page. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I don’t want to pass up because of the large cost associated.”

Graham said he is trying to fund the trip as much as he can himself but has limited time to get the funds he needs together.

“I’ll try to represent everyone proudly in Italy.”

Canada is one of 16 teams in the tournament and will play in Pool D along with Germany, Italy and Norway.

Graham’s page is at www.gofundme.com/tanner039s-fisu-fundraiser.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he had raised $1,825 of his $3,500 goal.