One week after the Toronto Raptors received Canada’s first NBA title, Canada made extra historical past on the NBA Draft.
Led by R.J. Barrett, Canada set the file for many draftees from a non-U.S. nation in one draft with six. France owned the earlier file with 5 in 2016. The six picks for Canada surpassed that nation’s earlier file of 4 in 2014, when Andrew Wiggins was the No. 1 general choose.
The 6-foot-7 Barrett continues a latest development of gamers from Canada being chosen in Lottery, becoming a member of Anthony Bennett (2013), Kelly Olynyk (2013), Wiggins (2014), Nik Stauskas (2014), Trey Lyles (2015), Jamal Murray (2016) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2018).
“It feels great,” Barrett stated after being chosen by the hometown Knicks. “Canadian basketball is really on the rise. You see we have — like you said, probably six, maybe more, in the draft this year. We have probably four of us going in the first round. So it’s just amazing. Canada basketball is on the rise. We’re going to have to cut some NBA players from the team this summer. But it’s great.”
Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker went No. 17 to New Orleans.
Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke was chosen at No. 21 by Oklahoma City, and was then dealt to Memphis.
Florida State’ s Mfiondu Kabangele went No. 27 to the Nets and was then dealt to the Clippers.
Michigan’s Iggy Brazdeikis was chosen at No. 45 by the Sacramento Kings.
Iowa State’s Marial Shayok was then chosen at No. 54 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort sat close to his coach Bobby Hurley in Barclays Center however went undrafted. He’s prone to be picked up as a free agent.
“I feel like it’s showing more and more kids that were in my position that you can one day be here just like I am,” Alexander-Walker stated. “I know guys like Andrew Wiggins and Tyler Ennis gave me hope. Now as RJ [Barrett] got selected. I got selected. Hopefully more Canadians who get selected can kind of give those kids and other generations hope.”
All of this bodes effectively for the Canadian National Team, which hopes to compete for Olympic medals in 2020 and ’24.
Rowan Barrett, R.J.’s father, is now the final supervisor of Canada Basketball. He performed for St. John’s in the early 1990s and captained the final Canadian nationwide staff to qualify for an Olympics in 2000.
R.J. Barrett will not compete for the Senior National Team this 12 months in the World Cup as a result of NBA obligations, however Wiggins will.
“It’s amazing to be Canadian,” Barrett stated. “We take a lot of pride. That’s why I’ve got my Canadian flags on this side of my jacket. To put it on for our country, that means a lot.”