Canada Basketball keeps Raptors momentum rolling with six Canadians selected in historic NBA draft

Title: Canada Basketball keeps Raptors momentum rolling with six Canadians selected in historic NBA draft
Date: June 21, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about an historic night that saw a record six Canadians selected in the NBA Draft.

The week leading up to the 2019 NBA Draft couldn’t have been more Canadian if you spilled maple syrup on a Carly Rae Jepsen album and it, for whatever reason, apologized to you for it.

The Toronto Raptors had won the 2019 NBA Championship, Nick Nurse had confirmed he’ll become the next head coach of Canada Basketball’s senior men’s team and the streets of Toronto flooded with over two million people for a parade celebrating the biggest moment in Canadian basketball since James Naismith invented the whole thing. The wave, as it were, shows no signs of slowing down. Kawhi Leonard may stick around — he may! — Canada Basketball has its first chance to make serious noise on the men’s international stage later this summer and, on Thursday, the country’s basketball scene sent one more aggressive message to the world about the country’s ascendancy in the sport.

At 12:21 a.m., the Philadelphia 76ers selected Ottawa native Marial Shayok with the 54th pick in the draft. It was one week and 34 minutes since the final buzzer sounded on the Raptors’ championship, and it was another new high-water mark for Canadian basketball. Shayok was the sixth Canadian drafted on the night, setting a new NBA record not only for Canadians selected but for players from any non-United States country in a single draft. A few months removed from 13 Canadians appearing in NBA games, one off the record set in 2017-18, Canada looks primed to continue its influx into the highest level of the game.

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