Historic night for Canadian basketball

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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Give a Canadian a puck and he will get his skates out. Throw him a pig skin, and he’ll run to catch it.

Pass him a basketball ... and he will probably just stare at it.

Football and hockey seem to prevail with Canadian fans. Basketball? Not so much.

Despite basketball being invented by a good ol’ maple syrup-blooded Canadian, the sport has not caught on in the Great White North as much as it has in other countries – namely, our neighbors to the south have adopted it as their own.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has 29 American franchises compared to Canada’s one: Toronto Raptors.

We Canadians love our sports gritty.

We want to see fights, and sometimes even blood.

We need earth-shattering touchdowns and last minute goals. Basketball doesn’t always seem to have that same effect.

However, the sport can be just as exciting, especially with so many Canadians recently having been drafted by NBA clubs.

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected 19-year-old Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

It marked the second consecutive year a Canadian was selected with the top pick. Last year, Andrew Bennett was selected – also by the Cavaliers.

A record three Canadian players were picked in the first round of this year’s draft, with Nik Stauskas going to the Sacramento Kings eighth overall and Tyler Ennis hearing his name called by the Phoenix Suns at No. 18.

Dwight Powell of Toronto will also drafted in the second round by the Charlotte Hornets with the 45th pick.

This is a huge accomplishment for Canadian athletes because no more than three Canadians had previously been drafted in the same draft class. On top of that, no country other than the U.S. has ever had back-to-back number one draft picks.

Hopefully the fact that Canadians being drafted first overall, two years in a row, will create a ripple effect across Canada and get more Canadians involved in the sport.

We are becoming the very best in basketball –  just as the inventor of the sport intended. So, let’s start cheering each other on.

All editorials are written by the Times-Herald editorial staff.

Organizations: National Basketball Association, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers Sacramento Kings Phoenix Suns Charlotte Hornets Times-Herald

Geographic location: Canada, Toronto, U.S.

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