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Raptors draft Arizona C Christian Koloko on their 33rd pick

Toronto (AP) — The Toronto Raptors chose Christian Koloko at the Arizona Center for their 33rd overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

“Good shot blockers, really good defensive numbers,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of Koroko. “Last year, he won a very high rank in all of college basketball in many categories. He is a pretty decent pick and roll player and he has good feet.”

7ft 1 Koroko played with Wildcats for three seasons, averaging 12.6 points per game and a 7.3 rebound career best in 37 juniors.

“I talked to him, and he’s very, very excited to be here,” said the nurse. “I’m really, really happy that we chose him.”

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Koroko, 22, is from Douala, Cameroon, and is the same birth city as Pascal Siakam, the Raptors All-Star Forward.

“It would be interesting to see them together,” said the nurse.

Raptors President Masai Ujiri and Forward Precious Achiuwa are from neighboring Nigeria.

2019 champion Toronto has returned to the playoffs for the first time in a year, but was delayed 3-0 in the first round before losing a series of six games to Philadelphia.

Despite the many long and athletic players, no one on the Raptors roster was above 6 feet 9, making the already difficult task of defending Joel Embiid at the 76ers Center even more difficult during playoffs. I did.

“He certainly slots in where he’s probably needed and balances the roster,” the nurse said of Koroko. “I think that one of them tonight is a pretty exciting choice.”

Koloko was the 2021-22 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the best player, and the first team selection of the whole conference. He led the conference, ranking 14th in the NCAA with 2.76 blocks per game, setting a record for Arizona’s single season with 102 blocks.

Koroko was also one of the 10 semi-finalists at the Nice Miss Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

Originally a member of Detroit, Toronto’s picks were taken from San Antonio with forward Thaddeus Young in exchange for guards Goran Dragic and Toronto’s first round picks.

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Last year, the Raptors chose Florida State University’s Forward Scottie Barnes in fourth place overall. Burns was named the NBA Rookie of the Year and joined Vince Carter and Damon Staudamia as Toronto players, winning the top honors of newcomers.

The Raptors drafted 33rd place for the first time in team history.

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Raptors draft Arizona C Christian Koloko on their 33rd pick

Source link Raptors draft Arizona C Christian Koloko on their 33rd pick

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