SAN ANTONIO (October 23, 2019) – RJ Barrett established a new Canadian record on Wednesday night with 21 points in his debut, the most by a Canadian in NBA history, as the New York Knicks opened their season against the San Antonio Spurs.
Barrett surpassed fellow Canadian Dillon Brooks, who had 19 points for the Memphis Grizzlies in his NBA debut on October 18, 2017.
The Mississauga, Ont. native also recorded five rebounds and two assists for the Knicks in their 120-111 loss to the Spurs.
Barrett is just one of a record 16 Canadians on opening-night NBA rosters, the most players from a non-U.S. country ever. This is the sixth consecutive season that Canada features the most international-born players.
Selected third overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, Barrett was the highest drafted Canadian player since Andrew Wiggins, who was selected 1st overall in 2014 and third-highest-drafted player ever from Canada after Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, who was drafted 1st overall in 2013.
Barrett is also one of a record six Canadians selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, not only surpassing the previous mark of four Canadians picked in the 2014 NBA Draft but also setting the record for most draftees from a non-U.S. country in one draft. In addition, four Canadian first-round selections also established a new record for the country.
Barrett, a 6-foot-6, 202-pound forward-guard, was named a first-team All-ACC selection, a consensus first-team All-American, and the USA Today National Player of the Year last season after averaging 22.6 points per game with the Duke Blue Devils. Starting all 38 games during his freshman season, he also averaged 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
A stalwart with the Canadian national team, Barrett has proudly represented Canada internationally every summer from 2015 to 2018 before an injury kept him out of action this summer. He was instrumental in Canada's gold medal win at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017 and most recently played for Canada during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers 2019 where he averaged 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds as an 18 year old.