Record Number of Canadians Selected in 2019 NBA Draft, Including 5 from Ontario

A record-setting six Canadians were drafted last night in the 2019 NBA Draft held in Brooklyn, NY. The previous record number of Canadians picked in the draft was four in 2014 (Andrew Wiggins, Nik Stauskas, Tyler Ennis & Dwight Powell). Four first round selections is also a new record for Canada.

Of the six Canadians drafted last night, five players hail from Ontario:

NameDraft Position2018-19 TeamHometown
RJ Barrett3rd overall - New York KnicksDuke Blue DevilsMississauga, ON
Nickeil Alexander-Walker17th overall - Brooklyn NetsVirginia Tech HokiesToronto, ON
Brandon Clarke21st overall - Oklahoma City ThunderGonzaga BulldogsVancouver, BC
Mfiondu Kabengele27th overall - Brooklyn NetsFlorida State SeminolesBurlington, ON
Ignas Brazdeikis47th overall - Sacramento KingsUniversity of Michigan WolverinesKaunas, Lithuania (Oakville, ON)
Marial Shayok54th overall - Philadelphia 76ersIowa State CyclonesOttawa, ON

The first Canadian to be picked was RJ Barrett, the small forward from Duke University, at 3rd overall. Barrett becomes the highest drafted Canadian player since Andrew Wiggins went first overall in 2014. Barrett’s list of accolades for his freshman season at Duke included All-ACC first-team selection, first-team All-American, and USA Today National Player of the Year. He set a new freshman scoring record at Duke with 860 points in 2018-19.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker was the second Canadian selected, 17th overall by the Brooklyn Nets. The shooting guard from Virginia Tech earned Third Team All-ACC honours this past season and was a pivotal player for the Hokies. Alexander-Walker’s cousin Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was one of only two Canadians drafted in 2018. He was selected 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets and traded shortly thereafter to the LA Clippers. Shai was at the draft last night to support his cousin.

The one Canadian drafted from outside Ontario was Brandon Clarke of Vancouver, BC. Clarke was drafted 21st overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder but is expected to be traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Clarke spent the 2017-18 season as a redshirt with Gonzaga after transferring from San Jose State. In 2018-19, the power forward averaged 16.9 points per game and ranked 4th in the country with a 0.687 field goal percentage.

Mfiondu Kabengele was drafted 27th overall by the Brooklyn Nets and will be traded to the LA Clippers. A native of Burlington, Kabengele played for the Florida State Seminoles this past season and earned himself several accolades including All-ACC Honourable Mention and ACC Sixth Man of the Year. Mfiondu is the nephew of NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo.

Ignas Brazedeikis, drafted 47th by Sacramento, was named OSBA League MVP and First Team All-Star in 2018 while playing for Athlete Institute’s Orangeville Prep. Iggy is the 3rd player from Orangeville Prep to be drafted into the NBA, following Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets drafted in 2016, and Thon Maker of the Detroit Pistons drafted in 2017.

Finally, Marial Shayok of Ottawa was picked 54th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. Shayok was a starter in 34 of the Iowa State Cyclones’ games this season and earned himself an honourable mention for the Associated Press All-America selections. He was also a finalist for the Julius Erving Award, Small Forward of the Year.

Congratulations to all six Canadian players drafted last night.

View the full Canada Basketball news story here.