The Raptors are covered well. Canadian university basketball coverage is getting better, but the media really needs to do a better job highlighting Canuck ballers who have relocated to the U.S. for better competition. Players such as point guard Myck Kabongo and forward Tristan Thompson, whose Newark, N.J., high school team is ranked No. 3 in the U.S. by Maxpreps, get sparse media attention in their home country. The same goes for point guard Cory Joseph (Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Devoe Joseph's brother), whose stock has shot up recently among the experts. They should get more attention, beyond clips on The Score once they get to college. It will come in time.
Kabongo and Thompson, who helped their St. Benedict's Gray Bees beat Lincoln High from Coney Island last week (yes, the school Jesus Shuttlesworth/Ray Allen attended in He Got Game) probably will be on Canadians' radar screens. It might be like how people didn't know that Michael Cera was Canadian when he was on Arrested Development, but after Superbad became a hit, everyone knew Michael Cera was from Brampton, Ontario.
Kabongo, who just turned 16, and Thompson, probably need time. In keeping with their aim of "trying to be the best one-two punch in the world," (Rivals.com), they're both committed to play college basketball at Texas. (Thompson finishes high school in 2010, Kabongo in '11).
Kabongo, as his high school coach, Danny Hurley (brother of Bobby Hurley, the Duke point guard from the early '90s), noted, is very media-friendly.
"You've got to have this extra quality of just being able to get it done and he's got that. He's just a very well-rounded kid. He's a highly intelligent guy. His personality is kind of an infectious thing ... He's the type of college basketball player that you can sell to the public because he actually has some thoughts and expresses himself positively without any of the negative stereotypes."As a player, Kabongo "needs work on his outside shooting and defense (but) has already drawn comparisons to Steve Nash, the most famous Canadian ballplayer of all time." (Nash plays defence?)
The point is you will be hearing about Kabongo, Thompson and Cory Joseph. It would not necessarily be a shame if they go down to the States and never come back to play for their country, but it's necessary that people become aware of the opportunity they represent for our national hoops profile.
St. Benedict's has a special pair of players (Rivals High)