In a recent radio interview with Bob McCown of Toronto’s Fan 590 the current President/CEO of Canada Basketball Wayne Parrish stated that Nike International Global Director of Basketball George Raveling predicted that Canada would have at least five NBA first round draftees in the next three years.
“We are absolutely on the verge on both the men’s and women side, I sat with both Maurizio Gherardini and George Raveling in Istanbul 4-5 weeks ago, and he predicts that Canada will have five first round NBA picks in the next three years.”
The current list of names being mentioned as potential first-round draftees includes Kelly Olynyk, Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Kyle Wiltjer.
“It’s unprecedented in terms of the number of absolutely talented individuals that have gotten the exposure to be potential NBA first-round choices.”
“We’ve been producing athletes of this caliber in this country for 20 years, but it’s now that they’ve gotten the exposure. What we have to do next is be able to train and develop them at young ages so that they have the skill level.”
Parrish also mentioned that Canada Basketball plans on building basketball only schools similar to Findlay Prep in Las Vegas in an effort to keep Canadian talent at home.
The concept of basketball only schools make sense given that both, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph attended Findlay Prep before giving verbal commitments to Texas University. In fact, Kelly Olynyk is the only name on the list that attended high school in Canada.
Findlay Prep along with other US schools have been snagging away the top Canadian basketball players in this country for quite some time. They are able to offer a competitive environment which focuses on building high-impact athletes, making it extremely difficult for Canadian schools to compete with.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of some of the talent that Canada is currently producing. The problem with these types of predictions is that they rarely come to fruition, given the many factors that can determine the fate of a highly touted player.
It would be extremely positive to see more Canadians in the NBA, and it’s only a matter of time before that number starts to increase. Do you think the prediction above makes sense? Is it achievable? Who else should be projected as potential NBA picks?