The number of NBA victories for Canada are reaching an all time high as the Raptors have just won the NBA Championship, and now six Canadians have been drafted into the NBA, making this the record for drafts from any country other than USA. RJ Barrett, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Brandon Clarke, Mfiondu Kabengele, Ignas Brazdeikis and Marial Shayok have all been drafted into the NBA as of Thursday night.
Says Barrett on securing third overall to the Knicks, this is a great time to be Canadian. He said that he took a lot of pride in his nationality, and has got the Canadian flags cheering him on, on the side of his jacket.
In the past, the record for maximum drafts was held by France, with 5 players in 2016.
Clarke was the 21st pick for the Oklahoma City Thunder said that he grew up watching Steve Nash play on the NBA and idolized him. Now, it is wonderful for him to see more great players coming out of Canada and proving their mettle.
These players have now joined 13 players who are already representing various teams playing within the NBA. These include Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Tyler Ennis. Alexander-Walker spoke of the players and was quoted saying that he was always inspired by the likes of Andrew Wiggins. He is the 17th pick for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Clarke played at the Gonzaga and said that the recent NBA win is going to help set the foundation for basketball in Canada. He said that basketball is now growing more than ever in the country and is evolving accordingly.
Veteran Canadian players include Nash, the newest player to be inducted in the Hall of Fame of 2018, and also is Barrett’s godfather, Anthony Bennett, and Rick Fox (three time NBA Champion).
The record for the most Canadians picked in one draft in the past was 2014, when 4 players were picked. Between 1983 and 2009, only 9 players were selected.