It didn’t take long for undrafted Canadian guard Karim Mane to find an NBA home.
Two days after falling to hear his name called at the 2020 NBA Draft, Vanier Cheetahs guard Karim Mane has agreed to join the Orlando Magic via a two-way deal that will make the six-foot-five guard the first Canadian player to make the jump from Canada’s Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) to the NBA.
A two-time CCAA All-Canadian, Mane led Vanier to a combined 32-2 record during his two-seasons with the men’s basketball team, taking the storied program to the 2019 CCAA Men’s National Championships in Langley, British Columbia. A leader on and off the court, Mane posted averages of 15.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals in 15 Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) conference games.
A strong showing at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup put Mane on the NBA radar — the Canadian guard showcased his all-around talent scoring in double-figures in five of Canada’s seven games averaging 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 rebounds in Crete, Greece.
An undefeated 2020 conference season and a strangle hold on the nations top-ranked CCAA spot was cut short as Mane and the Cheetahs were on the hunt for a repeat trip to the national championship tourney where they were amongst the favorites to win it all.
Unfortunately, the global pandemic cancelled basketball outright and immediately put Maine in a tough spot regarding his future plans — capping off his Vanier career by ranking in the conference’s the top ten for scoring (15.9), rebounds (7.9), assists (5.4) and steals (2.1).
Originally torn between making the decision to attend NCAA college basketball, Mane declared, hired an agent and committed to staying in the NBA Draft despite the challenges that arose due the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 20 year-old becomes the twenty-fourth (24th) Canadian signed to an NBA contract. Maine will join fellow Montreal basketball star Khem Birch who will enter his third-season with the Orlando Magic.
Furthermore, Mane’s signing increases the total number of Canadian NBA players from the city of Montreal to four. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher and Oklahoma City Thunder stalwart guard Luguentz Dort make-up the complete the set.
A total of eight Canadians beat the April deadline and declared for the 2020 NBA Draft. Marcus Carr, AJ Lawson, Andrew Nembhard and Stef Smith opted to return to their respective schools to sharpen their arsenal.
The rest of the list featured SMU’s Isiaha Mike, Delaware’s Nate Darling and West Virginia senior guard Jermaine Haley.
Mike took his game to Germany prior to the draft and Darling, Haley and Mane all went undrafted, making it the first-time in decade that no Canadians were selected during the NBA Draft.
Mane will join Orlando’s training camp roster in the upcoming weeks and will spend the majority of his first-year with the Lakeland Magic of the G-league.