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Ryerson Rams’ 7-footer Tanor Ngom declares for NBA Draft

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Ryerson Rams' 7 Footer Tanor Ngom Declares For NBA Draft
Photo: Edilson J. Silva

Ryerson Rams’ 7-foot-2 center Tanor Ngom has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Ngom, a native of Dakar, Senegal, enjoyed a breakthrough sophomore season with the emerging Ryerson Rams’ of Canada’s U Sports basketball program — in 21 Ontario University Association (OUA) conference games, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 19 minutes — connecting on 63.8% of his 88-138 field goal attempts.

Rams’ head coach Roy Rana discovered the late-blooming Ngom back in 2017 when he and a few of his players travelled to Senegal to take place in a basketball exchange forum.

During his freshman campaign Ngom faced adversity of coming to a new continent and adjusting to the North American culture while learning the game from one Canada’s best masterminds.

Ryerson Rams' 7 Footer Tanor Ngom Declares For Nba Draft Shooting Foul Shots
Tanor Ngom buries two free-throws against Carleton Ravens – Photo: Edilson J. Silva

Appearing in 23 games the towering bigmen contributed 5.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 12 minutes as the Ryerson Rams advanced to their first national title game.

Ngom’s improvement has been clearly evident in his two campaigns under Rana and features impressive mobility and athleticism for his size. A natural defensive disruptor — Ngom has worked hard to build his thin frame and expand his improving shooting touch from the charity stripe to the three-point line.

  • Ryerson Rams 7 Footer Tanor Ngom Usports Career Stats
    Ryerson Rams Tanor Ngom U Sports Conference Career Stats
  • Ryerson Rams 7 Footer Tanor Ngom Usports Playoffs Career Stats
    Ryerson Rams Tanor Ngom U Sports Playoffs Career Stats

Ngom posted a career-highs in points (24) once and grabbed 11 rebounds on multiple (3x) occasions as well as swatting away 8 shots once. Additionally, he reached double-figures scoring in 10 of his last 15 games.

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The seven-footer posted 12 points, six assists and three blocks in 24 minutes of action against the Duke Blue Devils during their much anticipated Canadian Tour. Ngom also became the first Canadian university player to participate in the prestigious Nike Elite Basketball Skills Academy — bringing the 20 best collegiate players together for a five-day premium training experience.

Unlike the recent NCAA rules changes that allow a player to test the NBA Draft process and still return to the collegiate ranks — The U Sports eligibility model and NBA Draft process aren’t quite clear at this point.

Regardless, Ngom’s path to the NBA faces a steep uphill battle — becoming the first player since Ottawa Gee-Gee’s All-Canadian guard Warren Ward broke barriers by tossing his name in the 2013 NBA Draft process — gathering buzz with a respectable workout at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas.

Canadian William Njoku (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a 6’10”, 193-pounds forward from the Saint Mary’s Huskies holds the exclusive distinction of being the last player from a Canadian university to be drafted in the modern NBA era. The Indiana Pacers selected him with the 41st pick in the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft.

Brooklyn born, Brian Heaney, a Canadian Basketball Hall of Famer and a member of the 1965 Acadia University Axemen championship team was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets with the last pick (19th round / 215 pick) of the 1969 NBA Draft. Heaney still holds the Canadian University single-game scoring record with an eye-popping 74 points against Mount Allison on February 17, 1968.

Ryerson Rams' 7-footer Tanor Ngom declares for NBA Draft
Carleton Ravens’ Phillip Scrubb blows past Wisconsin Badgers defender – Photo: Edilson J. Silva

Carleton Ravens’ all-time great point guard Phillip Scrubb — arguably Canada’s best university basketball player of all-time — never declared for the 2015 NBA Draft — but managed to play in the 2015 NBA Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors.

Although not a common stake yet, it is inevitable that Canadian players declaring from Canadian universities to the NBA draft will one day, in the not very distant future become commonplace.

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MVP Brandon Clarke dominates, leads Grizzlies to 2019 NBA Summer League Title

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2019 Las Vegas Summer League Memphis Grizzlies V Minnesota Timberwolves

Canadian Brandon Clarke, the 21st pick of the 2019 Draft dominated the NBA’s annual summer showcase — becoming the first player to take home both tournament and championship game most valuable player honors with a dominant 15 points, 16 rebounds double-double. The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 to win the 2019 NBA Summer League championship.

The former Gonzaga standout added 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 25 minutes.

Canadian Basketball Player Brandon Clarke 2019 Nba Summer League MVP
Canadian Basketball Player Brandon Clarke 2019 NBA Summer League MVP

In six games of summer league action, Clark averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Vancouver native shot 55% from the field and becomes the first ever Canadian to win MVP at the NBA Summer League.

Clarke was also named to the first-team all-NBA Summer League team. Other standouts included fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker who joined Clarke on the first-team. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher was named to the second-team.

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New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground

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New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground
R.J. State Of Mind...

Magnitudes off the Richter. An earthquake hit Sin City like jackpot in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada out in the desert last week.

And as the Jumbo-tron still shook like the music it was pumping, many people in awe inspired attendance would have been forgiven for thinking it was Zion. As the Duke standout and the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Williamson made us feel more tremors than Kevin Bacon. As the new New Orleans Pelican burst out the hardwood and flew, man-handling a steal off an opponent who’s just a poster now’s inbounds pass and put back a viscous, signature slam that felt like they still tested atomic bombs out in the Nevada desert overlooking the electric, neon skyline. All whilst new and former teammates respectively, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Anthony Davis looked on with “here comes the big airplane” mouths.

But after the road to Mount Zion’s knee injury lead to more Patrick Ewing ice than up there in Japan’s Mount Fuji, it was better the Blue Devil you know. As the Knicks third pick RJ Barrett ended up moving the needle more over this scorching, seasonal tourney of the youthful future of this association. Looking as good as those beautiful blue Knicks Summer League jerseys that are so clean we want to see them fresh off the press in the the NBA Store in NYC. So much so that even if RJ handed you one of his autographed signatures post game you’d still be like, “you got this in a medium?”

Sounding better than all those thirsty announcers singing “Summer Leeeeague” like The Isley Brothers this time of year classic, ‘Summer Breeze’. Making everything feel fine as he blew through defenders like the Jasmine in my mind. RJ initialed his dynamic debut and mainstream moment. Making Knicks’ fans almost forget that they just lost out on their number one goal, Zion Williamson. Or their free agent duo desire of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who ended up on the other side of New York, across that bridge from Manhattan in Brooklyn with the Nets…almost. Following the sweated out, hard nosed 90’s were only Jordan and Starks shots got in the way of golden era glory, the Knicks’ now have their first real leader in the post Porzingis era since Syracuse star ‘Melo for the Orangemen.

And he’s not alone. Barrett who was choosing Knicks’ mannequin heads to bucket on New York’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon nights before the draft cap has plenty to pass to in a Pelican rivaling young core of young guns, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier, new free agent signing Julius Randle (this Pel is still a big ‘cat out of Kentucky like Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins reunited on the Lake Show like purple and gold fans hoped he would be too), Elfrid Payton and of course the soaring Dennis Smith Jr. Not to mention a bolstered bench of Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock from more than midtown. Call it Chelsea, the Tribeca or even Battery Park after the High-Line of the Meatpacking District. The future of this franchise to the naked eye of ignorance is about to look better than the view from that new Vessel structure in Hudson Yards.

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Barrett began in Vegas with some early snake eyes trouble. But rolling the dice again he turned into a killer like Brandon Flowers. The man. Come round. Nothing can break. Nothing can break him down. First he scorched California’s new look King sized Lakers for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. But it was his spell in his last Summer forecast against the Wizards were RJ showed Washington that just like NYC, DC may be America’s capital, but there’s nothing like New York, New York. He was so good you had to check the instant replay twice, with another 21 and 10, two perfect precision passes off cashing in a triple-double chip like he was a team that had both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster roll call. Houston, do you read me?

Averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a televised tournament that is basically a glorified practice scrimmage (tell me, do you even know who won the thing?) show he will be above so. The Canadian Maple Mamba has that syrup for your bacon. Even without free agent big names like Kevin and Kyrie who are one more decision away from being journeymen, forget super-teams, the Knicks may have a lifer in RJ from Coach K’s Duke fraternity administration in the association now. Can you relate? Barrett could be brilliant and New York no longer a rotten apple. But a couple of big names away from having their title again in the Mecca of Madison Square Garden’s, World’s Most Famous Arena in bright Times Square lights.

It’s almost a New Year for New York, time for the ball to drop.

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