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Thread: The Reign of Canada

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    Default The Reign of Canada

    How Canada emerged as the leading international talent forge? 2019 NBA drafts are filled with Canadian players, they've got plenty of top picks recently. Today in the BWB camp they have 4 players, only Australia (5 players) has more. In 2019 BWB they had highest amount of players as well

    Does it have to do with the Raptors? Special youth system? Or it's a random blossom?

    Canada is about to put up an incredible amount of talent into the team if things will get together, even now they have insane talent pull, and they can really add some serious bunch of prospects in 2020 and 2021 NBA drafts.
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    Senior Member Dtown's Avatar
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    I definitely think the Raptors played a part, probably Vince Carter as well. Having a team to follow and popularize the sport can't be underestimated. I imagine we'll see another boom a decade from now following their championship win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dtown View Post
    I definitely think the Raptors played a part, probably Vince Carter as well. Having a team to follow and popularize the sport can't be underestimated. I imagine we'll see another boom a decade from now following their championship win.
    Good point. Carter is absolute legend in Toronto. It would be really scary if Canada's population would be at least half big as USA. Now they are less populated than Spain, France, but lately producing ridiculous amount of talent.
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    4 Canadians selected into all team of BWB camp. Just to make my point even stronger.
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    Proximity to the US = more opportunity to compete against top talent, more exposure. Canada is a lot more integrated into the US scene that it was 15 years ago, all the summer shoe company circuits have Canadian teams. Feels like it really started when Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson came to play high school in the US, Andrew Wiggins and Tyler Ennis followed a few years later and then Canada started putting together their own strong programs to keep players at home.

    @mojo13 might have a better view on this but it seems like more of an Ontario talent explosion than a Canada talent explosion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGX View Post
    Proximity to the US = more opportunity to compete against top talent, more exposure. Canada is a lot more integrated into the US scene that it was 15 years ago, all the summer shoe company circuits have Canadian teams. Feels like it really started when Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson came to play high school in the US, Andrew Wiggins and Tyler Ennis followed a few years later and then Canada started putting together their own strong programs to keep players at home.

    @mojo13 might have a better view on this but it seems like more of an Ontario talent explosion than a Canada talent explosion.
    You guys are correct with everything but unsurprising its only part of many factors going into it. The huge importance of the Raptors and especially Vince Carter cant be understated, nor the proximity to the US and its cultural influence on Canada. There is a recent documentary in this called The Vince Carter Effect" (Netflix i think) There is allot written out there on this topic.

    But a couple other things were happen at the same time -one of the most important from my perspective is there was a huge wave of immigration into Canada from Africa and the Caribbean starting in the early 90s and through most of the 90s into the early 2000s. Most settled in Southern Ontario (Toronto metro and ex-urbs) but elsewhere too (more on that later).

    This new, huge pool of talent than tended to be poor and more inner city oriented and were more naturally drawn to basketball as opposed to the wealthier, more suburban (and more "white") sport of hockey that traditionally dominated the minds of Canadian kids (and media and culture). Add that with the hometown Raptors with Vince Carter and you can obviously see the recipe for success. We also can't forgot to mention the success Steve Nash in the 2000s as he did have a huge impact on Canadian basketball as well - he showed these kids that Canadian can become elite in the NBA. Further at the same time the grass roots architecture (high school, AAU etc.), higher level coaching and facilities infrastructure was growing in leaps and bounds to cater to this spike in participation and interest. This came along a little later but is is now clear as more and more kids stay in Canada for their development versus almost every decent level prospect going the USA just 10 years ago. Still most go but it is changing quickly - no way could Cory Joseph or Tristan Thompson have stayed in Canada but Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous Alexanader, Ignas Brazdeikis, Thon Maker etc. did. We are also seeing a good number of Canadians as head coaches for big NCAA programs and on coaching staffs in the NBA.

    Not surprisingly this spike in talent, coaching and infrastructure coalesced around Toronto (or Southern Ontario) as it is often a virtuous circle reinforcing itself (better coaching, more opportunities, better competition etc.) . But there was a huge wave of immigration into Quebec around the same time as well of French Caribbean and French African immigrants. It has taken longer for all the things above to form up in Montreal but we are seeing the results now - Khem Birch, Chris Boucher, Luguentz Dort, Karim Mane, many kids in the NCAA and 2 or 3 of the kids in at the Basketball Without Borders are Quebecois as well.

    It nice to see - we are in a bit of a lull this year getting kids into the NBA (perhaps the first year in the last decade no Canadian is drafted into the NBA), but after the huge year last year that is no surprise. There looks like a really good crop coming up in the next couple years. Josh Primo seems very interesting along with Elijah Fisher a couple years behind.
    Last edited by mojo13; 02-23-2020 at 10:19 PM.

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    ESPN with some very positive impressions from the Canadians in the latest BWB (especially Josh Primo). The content is limited to Insiders, so here's the relevant text:


    Josh Primo | 6-5 PG/SG | Canada | Royal Crown Academic School (Ontario)

    One of the youngest players in attendance -- he won't be 18 until the final week of December -- Primo stole the show in Chicago.

    With a 6-foot-5 frame and long arms, Primo looked comfortable operating on and off the ball at the camp. Primo is extremely smooth and fluid while changing speeds, splitting ball screens and finishing with touch and creativity around the rim using either hand. He did a great job of getting teammates involved out of pick-and-roll, showing the ability to deliver accurate passes after drives or off a live dribble. He's a good shooter with his feet set, but particularly off the dribble.

    Primo needs to improve on the defensive end, as his intensity wavers and he has some trouble getting over screens. His lack of experience was reflected in some risky shot selection and decision-making.

    Having sat out part of this season with a fractured finger, then leaving his high school in Arizona to return to Canada, Primo is a bit of a mystery -- many rankings have him far lower than his talent level indicates.

    Currently a high school junior, Primo has decided to graduate early, reclassify and enroll in college this summer, making him draft-eligible in 2021.

    "After careful consideration, taking into account all options, I have decided to reclassify into the class of 2020 and look forward to continuing my overall development," Primo told ESPN. "I will make my college selection after further discussions with my family. "

    He'll be a first-rounder in our next 2021 mock draft. -- Jonathan Givony


    Olivier-Maxence Prosper | 6-7 SF | Canada | NBA Academy Latin America (Clemson commit)

    Although not quite as productive as other players in attendance, Prosper is one of the more intriguing long-term prospects given his physical tools and two-way play at the combo forward position every NBA team covets. The 17-year-old Canadian has been on our radar since we first evaluated him at the BioSteel Futures Game in April 2018, and he continues to gain traction.

    Prosper stands out physically at just under 6-foot-8 with a near 7-foot-1 wingspan and an outstanding 202-pound frame that has considerable room to fill out, comparing somewhat favorably to a taller Nassir Little.

    Prosper is an energetic defender who can check multiple positions and make plays off the ball as a rover. He's willing to crash the glass, rotate from the weak side for blocks or jump the passing lanes, even if his discipline on that end has room to improve. Offensively he's more of a blank slate. A streaky shooter with somewhat of a long release, he's at his best filling the lanes in transition, attacking the gaps as a straight-line driver, and bringing energy on the offensive glass. His handle and feel for the game are still evolving, and he'll likely never be relied on to create the majority of a team's offense.

    He shouldn't be expected to emerge as a potential one-and-done prospect, as he'll need time to round out his game at Clemson, but the Montreal native and NBA Academy prospect is exactly what NBA teams are looking for in today's game. -- Givony


    Ben Mathurin | 6-5 SG | Haiti/Canada | NBA Academy Latin America (Mexico City)

    A player we've been tracking closely for the past 18 months, it's been impressive to see the progress Mathurin has made both physically and skillwise since he first arrived at the NBA Academy, culminating in an explosive performance in the championship game of the camp.

    Mathurin proved to be one of the most athletic wings in attendance, regularly attacking the paint in transition with a full head of steam and finishing above the rim emphatically. His jumper is on the streaky side, but he's worked hard on it to the point that he's become fairly reliable with his feet set, and even off the dribble from beyond the arc.


    Although he's fairly wild in his approach at times, you have to respect the level of aggressiveness Mathurin displays and his willingness to put his body on the line and embrace contact around the basket. That unlimited self-confidence can lead to some ugly moments at times overdribbling, running into brick walls and settling for difficult jumpers, but he's undoubtedly made major strides as a ball handler, passer and shooter and should continue to do so based on the trajectory he's shown. Mathurin had some nice moments on defense but still has room to grow.

    Mathurin is committed to Arizona and projects as a high-level role player with NBA potential. -- Givony

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    This came along a little later but is is now clear as more and more kids stay in Canada for their development versus almost every decent level prospect going the USA just 10 years ago.

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    Methinks we have to win something first though before talking about our "reign".


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    Even if you have 100 NBA player it doesnt matter if the player dont come playing for their country.

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    Do we though?

    It would be nice, but the average bball fan doesn't give a $hit about FIBA or the World Cup - and the Olympics only enters their thoughts once every 4 years.

    There are 20-ish Canadian's in the NBA, a few on the verge of being all-stars, and many more on the way. A decade from now there could be 40+ in the NBA.

    We will never "reign" over FIBA with the USA around. Personally I'd like to see some FIBA medals - but that is because I'm a rare one interested in FIBA. Most are just happy to see so many Canadians doing so well in the NBA and pro leagues around the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toruko View Post
    Even if you have 100 NBA player it doesnt matter if the player dont come playing for their country.
    It matters if half of them show up.

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    There are many differences between NBA Players as well. Dort is not the same as Murray but yes generally spoken the more good player you have the better but its also time to show something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toruko View Post
    There are many differences between NBA Players as well. Dort is not the same as Murray but yes generally spoken the more good player you have the better but its also time to show something.
    I don't disagree.
    But it is unfair to point to an injured player like Murray (or SGA). It's also very rare for Free Agents to play (true for North Americans at least) - impacting Olynyk, Birch, Boucher.

    Many months back I stated I'd be happy if 50% of the Canadian players showed up, as I know we will never get the full contingent. So yes - the more good players, the better our team can be. This turnout is as expected - however admittedly I am somewhat disappointed as I was tricked into believing allot of positive news the last few months around Birch, Olynyk, Brooks, Thompson - some of who I really thought would show up.

    This is a good team for Canada. Possibly the best we have ever floored. I should be happy with that....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    ...nor the proximity to the US and its cultural influence on Canada.
    Which is something that's grated on me since the late 1980's anyway. I suppose I'm flailing at windmills, but somebody has to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    Personally I'd like to see some FIBA medals - but that is because I'm a rare one interested in FIBA. Most are just happy to see so many Canadians doing so well in the NBA and pro leagues around the world.
    That's another point on which I differ from my "fellow" Canadians. I really don't care how well these players do (and how much money they make) in the NBA. All I care about is how well teams wearing the Canada jersey play.


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