A native of Mississauga, Ont., and a star with Duke, the six-foot-seven Barrett was the highest-ranked player from his country on a large list of Canadians available to be drafted.
WATCH: Courtesy NBA TV – Toronto native RJ Barrett said “Canada basketball is on the rise” after being drafted 3rd overall by the New York Knicks on Thursday. Barrett also showed off his bilingualism answering a question in French.
Canada entered the 60-pick event with a realistic shot of setting or matching a record for most players picked from any country outside the United States in a single draft. The record was set by France with five in 2016.
Vancouver-born and Arizona-raised Brandon Clarke of Gonzaga, Toronto’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker of Virginia Tech and Burlington, Ont., native Mfiondu Kabengele of Florida State also were invited to the green room as top prospects for Thursday’s draft.
Several other Canadians were thought to be candidates to go later in the draft.
WATCH: Courtesy NBA TV – The New Orleans Pelicans selected Toronto’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker with the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Thursday
The evening was a continuation of a memorable week for Canadian basketball. A massive crowd cheered on the NBA champion Raptors during a parade and rally in downtown Toronto on Monday, four days after the team became the first squad from outside the U.S., to capture the crown.