With 22 players in the NBA, Canada is second to only the United States in terms of players in the league. Just this year alone four Canadians were picked in the NBA Draft.
However, things were not always that way. Canadian forward Will Njoku was drafted as the 41st overall draft pick by the Pacers in 1994, becoming one of the first players to be drafted from his country.
Though he did not make the regular season roster and spent his professional career mostly in Europe, Njoku says he felt a wave of Canadian players in the NBA was coming.
“I felt like this wave of Canadian NBA talent would come, but I didn’t expect it to happen as quickly as it did,” he told Betway Insider. According to him, the teams in the league have realized over the years that players from Canada can play at the highest level and are no longer afraid of drafting them.
While the NBA saw an influx of players from Njoku’s country, not all of them have suited up for the national team. It has been 22 years since last played in the Olympics. The future is bright according to Njoku who sees Canada as top two or top three team in the world.
“I’m hoping these guys continue to show up for the national team, and people like Rowan Barrett and Steve Nash keep pushing the idea of how much pride there is in being a part of this rise of Canada basketball. It’s just a matter of time until we’re top two or three in the world,” Njoku says.