Canadians in the 2013 NBA Draft
|Round 1 – No.1||Cleveland Cavaliers||Anthony Bennett||Brampton, Ont.|
|Round 1 – No.13||Dallas Mavericks*||Kelly Olynyk||Kamloops, B.C.|
* Traded to Boston Celtics
Brampton, Ont. native Anthony Bennett made history on Thursday evening by becoming the first Canadian player to be selected first overall in the NBA Draft. The forward declared for the draft after a highly successful freshman year with the UNLV Runnin' Rebels where he was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year.
The 2013 NBA Draft continued to make Canadian basketball history when Kamloops, B.C. product Kelly Olynyk was drafted number 13th overall by the Dallas Mavericks. With the selection, this marked the first time that two Canadians have been lottery selections.
Kelly, the former Gonzaga Bulldog, was then traded to the Boston Celtics. Coming off a red-shirt season, Olynyk led his Bulldogs to a No.1 seed in the National Championship tournament after being named West Coast Conference Player of the Year.
Rowan Barrett, assistant general manager and executive vice president of Canada Basketball's Senior Men's Program, credits the past and the players themselves for this amazing accomplishment. "This is truly the Golden Age for Canada Basketball. This is the beginning of a new generation of players who grew up with the NBA in their backyards and were inspired by the Raptors and the Grizzlies. It's exciting to see and hear in the community and across the country. But this is just the beginning...there's more to come. We are proud of Anthony and Kelly. They have worked so hard and dedicated themselves to this sport. Now, they will have the opportunity to continue growing and hopefully inspire a whole new generation."
Canadians made history at the 2013 NBA Draft. But as Barrett said, there is more to come. Bennett and Olynyk will now take their games to the next level to compete against the best players in the world. Beyond that, there is a growing talent pool in Canada from the four corners of this country. Athletes are standing up and seeing what has been done and looking ahead to what they must do.
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