Canada’s basketball prospects soar

  • Jul. 2, 2014 4:25 p.m.

So when did our little country of hockey, poutine, maple syrup, moose and back bacon become a breeding ground for basketball players?

And not just any players either.

These kids are being selected high up in the crapshoot called the NBA draft.

Thursday night young Andrew Wiggins was taken first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and he joins a pair of Canucks on that roster as the Cavs took Anthony Bennett last year with the first overall selection.

Back in 2011 they grabbed Tristan Thompson with the fourth overall pick.

What is it about Cleveland and this bromance with Canada and our basketball players?

Are we going to see a lot of Cavs hats and jerseys this summer to show our support for Canada’s new team? Sorry Raptors fans.

After Wiggins was taken the Canadian pipeline (one which environmentalists aren’t opposed to) down south was kept open and Sacramento took Nik Stauskas eighth, Phoenix grabbed Tyler Ennis 15th and Charlotte got in on the action by selecting Dwight Parcell.

Is there something in our water that is all of a sudden taking effect on the young basketball players who shoot hoops and not pucks over the winter?

Maybe there’s just something in the water in Cleveland which has turned them into maple leaf wavers.

It will be interesting to watch the progress of the players taken this year as well as what sort of fallout this basketball immigration has on the future players in our country.

Will there be a rush on basketball stands instead of hockey nets at the local sporting good store?

This glut of Canadian hard court talent has another effect on the landscape and that would be the makeup of our national basketball team.

It used to be Eli Pasquale, Leo Rautins, Steve Nash and Jay Triano who carried our slim hopes in Olympic basketball and not at the same time as the wealth was spread out over many years.

When 2016 rolls around we can send a team of bona fide NBA stars to compete against the best in the world.

Now this doesn’t mean we should be expecting a medal of any colour but I would think the chances of a Canadian basketball team doing well at the games has risen quite a bit.

I wouldn’t be putting the hockey net away too soon however. We are still the land of ice and snow.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

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