TORONTO, Ont. (October 25, 2021) - A trio of Canadians got to hear their names get called on Saturday afternoon at the 2021 NBA G League Draft. Nate Darling led the way as he was selected fourth overall to the Agua Caliente Clippers, while Karim Mane was selected 29th overall by the Memphis Hustle and Washington's G League affiliate, the Capital City Gogo, selected Jermaine Haley 80th overall.
Darling goes to the AC Clippers following a rookie season as a two-way player with the Charlotte Hornets. The 23-year-old sharpshooter went undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft following a 21-point-per game junior season at the University of Delaware, but signed with the Hornets for the 2020-21 season. After participating in the 2020-21 G League Bubble with Hornets affiliate Greensboro Swarm, Darling made history on March 13, 2021 when he entered the game for the Hornets against the Toronto Raptors to become the first Nova Scotian born NBA player. He made history again when he connected on a three-pointer in the game, scoring his first career points. The Dartmouth, N.S. native was a member of Canada’s historic gold medal winning team at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017 in Egypt, where he averaged 7.6 points and 2.0 assists per game.
Like Darling, Mane went undrafted in the 2020 Draft, but found his way to the league on a two-way contract with the Orlando Magic for the 2020-21 season. The 21-year-old played 10 games for the Orlando Magic, splitting time between the Magic and G League affiliate Lakeland. Mane was with Lakeland as the team won the 2021 G League Championship in the G League Bubble last season. Mane, who grew up in Montreal, played for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2021 NBA Summer League held in Las Vegas. Internationally, Mane most recently represented Canada at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019, where he finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.7 points per game.
For Haley, the selection by Washington Wizards affiliate, the Capital City Gogo, means a return to professional basketball at home after spending the 2020-21 season playing in Germany. Haley, a Burnaby, B.C. native, was selected in the third round of the 2021 G League Draft. The 6-foot-7 guard, who represented Canada during the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in February 2021, averaged 5.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in eight games playing for HARKO Merlins Carilsheim in Germany last season.
The upcoming G League season will see a return to home court for teams after last year's season was played in a bubble in Florida. Things begin on Nov. 5 with an expanded Showcase Cup, a 14-game tournament that will conclude on Dec. 22. From there, the 36-game regular season will tip off on Dec. 27.