Barrett, Boucher among Canadian basketball’s 10 players to watch

TORONTO — Ten to watch:

Canada’s basketball talent pool has never been deeper. From high school to the NBA, here are 10 Canadian players to watch:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

The 20-year-old has started 21 of 30 games in his rookie season with the Los Angeles Clippers, averaging 10.9 points and 2.9 assists in 27.5 minutes a night. The Hamilton native with a flair for fashion had a career-high 24 points in Monday’s loss to Portland.

Chris Boucher

Boucher was tearing it up with Raptors 905, leading the G League in scoring and pouring in a franchise-record 47 points in a game against Oklahoma City before being called up by the injury-bitten Raptors. The 25-year-old from Montreal, who went undrafted after tearing his ACL with the Oregon Ducks, is on a two-way contract with the Raptors and Raptors 905.

R.J. Barrett

The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., led Canada to world U19 gold as one of the tournament’s youngest players in 2017. He’s third in the NCAA in scoring by freshmen and is projected to go No. 1 or 2 in June’s NBA draft. Barrett continued his rookie-season scoring rush on Tuesday, finishing with 27 points to help second-ranked Duke clobber Princeton 101-50.

Luguentz Dort

The broad-shouldered rookie guard from Montreal is also turning heads in the NCAA, scoring a career-high 33 points to lead Arizona State over Utah State last month. Dort is also a projected first-round draft pick.

Laeticia Amihere

The 6-3 forward from Milton, Ont., became the first Canadian woman to dunk when she was just 15, captured in a video that went viral. She led Canada to bronze at the U19 world championships, and recently announced she’ll play NCAA basketball for the University of South Carolina. ESPN ranks her 10th in the class of 2019.

Bridget Carleton

The 21-year-old from Chatham, Ont., recently won her second Big 12 player of the week award of the season, scoring a season-high 31 points in Iowa State’s win over Drake. The Cyclones senior leads the Big 12 in scoring with 19.0 points per game.

Kia Nurse

The 22-year-old from Hamilton is one of Canada’s most recognizable female athletes — in any sport. She averaged 9.1 points off the bench in her rookie WNBA season for the New York Liberty last summer, and is now living and playing in Canberra for the Capitals of Australia’s WNBL. Nurse also recently announced the formation of Kia Nurse Elite, her own Nike-backed AAU girls program.

Brandon Clarke

The 22-year-old from Vancouver is averaging 16.8 points and shooting 67 per cent from three-point range in his junior season for Gonzaga. He had 17 points and seven rebounds in the Bulldogs’ upset of Duke last month.

Ignas Brazdeikis

The 19-year-old from Oakville, Ont., leads Michigan in scoring in his freshman season, averaging 15.8 points a night, and producing three consecutive 20-plus point games. Brazdeikis worked out with former Michigan star Nik Stauskas before following in the fellow Lithuanian-Canadian’s footsteps to Ann Arbor.

Elijah Fisher

The 14-year-old from Toronto could Canada’s next big thing. Already six foot five, the student at Crestwood Preparatory College is being touted as the top-ranked North American of the class of 2023.

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