With NBA All-star weekend approaching, this year in Los Angeles seems to have more Canadian content than ever, in all aspects of the festivities.
The following is a break down of what to watch for in Canadian basketball, starting with the young pups:
NBA Basketball Without Borders Camp
Basketball Without Borders, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program, has reached more than 3,000 participants from 133 countries and territories, with more than 50 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents.
- Al Horford (Boston Celtics; Dominican Republic)
- Goran Dragic (Miami Heat; Slovenia)
- Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers; Lithuania)
- Timofey Mozgov (Brooklyn Nets; Russia)
- Sam Dekker (LA Clippers; U.S.)
- Additional NBA, WNBA and FIBA coaches
- The top 67 high school age boys and girls from 36 countries and territories across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe
NBA Basketball Without Borders Camp Roster during @NBAAllStar has officially been released.
Canadian Boys listed
🏀AJ Lawson (NPH #1-ranked)
🏀Tyrese Samuel (NPH #2-ranked)
🏀Sarah Te-Biasu (Big time!)
🏀Keishana Washington#CanBall @NorthPoleHoops @CanBball pic.twitter.com/2Oa20d8UdJ
— Tariq Sbiet 🏆🇨🇦🌎 (@Tariq_NPH) February 8, 2018
All-Star Game – Raptors Reps
Demar Derozan (23.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG. 5.2 APG) is having arguably the best season of his career, leading the Raptors to a franchise-best start, 41-16 record, good for 1st in the Eastern Conference at the break.
Diligently working, Derozan is a true professional that has gradually improved each season, but still has a lot to prove come playoff time.
It will be interesting to see how he stacks up this season among the stars. In last year’s game, he registered 16 pts, 5rbs, 6 asts on 8-of-16 from the field. Not bad…but he can he shine among the stars and make an MVP run? This is as good a year as ever to break out with the lights shining brightest.
With the new set up of the game (player selections) You could expect the game to increase in compete level—at least we hope so.
Kyle Lowry – 16.5 PPG 6.4 APG 5.7 RPG
We don’t expect as big of an impact from Lowry in this type of game–it will be difficult matching up with the amount of size, length and athleticism on the opposition. Expect a flurry of threes to be launched from Team Curry, which would work in Lowry’s favour, as it will be
Dwayne Casey and Toronto Raptors Coaching Staff
You gotta give it up to Casey and co. Like Derozan, Casey has stepped up his game each season, and like Derozan, Lowry…there is still much to prove come playoff time. A great honour for Casey to get the All-star nod, and testament to the respect he has around the league.
Rising Stars Game – World Team
Skills Challenge- Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray (16.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.9 APG) owned the stage last year, en route to his MVP performance in the rising stars game. He’ll be back this year, looking for a repeat.
The way his trajectory has looked throughout his career, and the signs of major progression this season with the Nuggets…we’re all in, once again on JM. The Kitchener, Ontario product will also compete in the skills challenge.
The big boy game that takes place on Sunday is the next checkpoint in his career,.
Last year, it was Nugget teammate and fellow Canadian Trey Lyles that joined Murray as a “Rising Star”…this year its Mississauga rookie Dillon Brooks (9PPG, 3RPG, 1.3 APG) that will look to raise his stock, and continue raising eyebrows for NBA teams around the league that passed up on the second round draft pick.
Andre Degrasse (Olympic Sprinter)