TWO CANADIANS SELECTED IN THE 2018 NBA DRAFT
TORONTO, ON (June 21, 2018) - Two Canadians were selected in last night's 2018 NBA Draft, as both Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Justin Jackson had their names announced on Thursday night to kick off their NBA careers.
Jackson and Gilgeous-Alexander became the 16th and 17th Canadian selections since 2011 in a growing collection of Canadians in the Association.
Gilgeous-Alexander was drafted 11th by the Charlotte Hornets and later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. He started his NCAA by season coming off of the bench for the Kentucky Wildcats, but following an MVP-performance in the SEC Tournament, his talent was put on notice. Gilgeous-Alexander put up 21 points on 55.3% shooting from the field to go along with 6.7 assists per game in the tournament, raising his draft stock to new heights.
Gilgeous-Alexander represented Canada in the 2016 FIBA U18 Americas Championship, where he put up 7.8 points, four rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game to help Canada to a second-place finish.
Jackson, who was drafted 43rd by the Denver Nuggets and traded to the Orlando Magic, averaged 9.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game in a sophmore season at Maryland cut short by injury. Jackson will be joining fellow Canadian Khem Birch on the Magic's roster to begin the season.
At only 21 years of age, Jackson has already represented the red and white three times in his young career. Jackson first played for Canada back in 2012, when he participated in the FIBA U17 World Championships before later going on to play in the FIBA U16 Americas Championships in 2013 and the FIBA U19 World Championship in 2015. Jackson has averaged an impressive 12 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in his time with the national team.
The 19 and 21-year-olds will join a growing list of recent Canadian NBA Draft picks, including Dillon Brooks (45th, Houston Rockets, 2017), Jamal Murray (7th Denver, 2016), Oliver Hanlan (42nd, Utah, 2015), Trey Lyles (12th, Utah, 2015), Andrew Wiggins (1st, Cleveland, 2014), Nik Stauskas (8th, Sacramento, 2014), Tyler Ennis (18th overall, Phoenix, 2014), Dwight Powell (45th, Charlotte, 2014), Anthony Bennett (1st, Cleveland, 2013), Kelly Olynyk (13th, Dallas, 2013), Andrew Nicholson (19th, Orlando, 2012), Kris Joseph (51st, Boston, 2012), Rob Sacre (60th, LA Lakers, 2012), Tristan Thompson (4th, Cleveland, 2011), and Cory Joseph (29th, San Antonio, 2011).