TORONTO (AFP) – The Toronto Raptors selected Christian Colocco, central Arizona, for thirty third place within the NBA draft Thursday night time.
“Good blocker, really good defensive numbers,” Raptors coach Nick Norse stated of Koloko. “I ranked really high in all of college basketball last year in so many categories. A very good choice player, he has good feet.”
The 7-foot-1 Koloko performed three seasons with the Wildcats, averaging a profession better of 12.6 factors and seven.3 rebounds per recreation in 37 video games as a junior.
“I spoke to him and he is very excited to be here,” a nurse stated. “Like, really, really glad we picked him.”
Koloko, 22, is from Douala in Cameroon, the identical hometown of Raptors All-Star striker Pascal Siakam.
“I’m sure it will be fun to see these guys together,” stated the nurse.
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The 2019 champions, Toronto, returned to the playoffs this season after a year-long absence, however fell 3-0 within the first spherical earlier than shedding a six-game streak to Philadelphia.
Regardless of being filled with athletic gamers for a very long time, the Raptors did not have anybody on their roster taller than 6-foot-9, making the already powerful process of defending 76ers heart Joel Embiid a fair more durable problem coming in complement time.
“It’s definitely kind of an opening, perhaps, in the location of need, and it balances out the list as well,” the nurse stated of Koloko. “A very exciting choice, I think, for that tonight.”
Koloko was the 2021-22 Pac-12 defensive participant, greatest improved participant, and first-team choice in all conferences. He led the convention and ranked 14th within the NCAA with 2.76 blocks per recreation, tying a one-season report in Arizona with 102 blocks.
Koloko was additionally one of many 10 semi-finalists for the Naismith Defensive Participant of the Yr award.
Toronto’s choose, which was initially owned by Detroit, was taken from San Antonio alongside striker Thaddeus Younger in change for goalkeeper Goran Dragic and Toronto’s first-round choose, No. 20 total.
Final yr, the Raptors picked Florida State ahead Scotty Barnes with the fourth total choose. Barnes went on to the NBA Rookie of the Yr, becoming a member of Vince Carter and Damon Stoudamire as Toronto gamers for the largest honors.
The Raptors crafted thirty third for the primary time in crew historical past.
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