This is worthy of a Canadian Heritage Minute. The Raptors have officially drafted their first Canadian player, 21-year-old Toronto native Dalano Banton. The young prospect was the 46th overall pick in the 2021 Draft and is one of three players picked by the team. The players got a seal of approval from Drake, too.
The rapper posted a photo of Banton on his Instagram story with the caption, “welcome home.” Drake also posted a shot of the Raptors’ first-round, 4th overall pick Scottie Barnes, who’s already excited to meet the rapper when he gets to Toronto.
Banton was a standout point guard at the G League Elite Camp and shows a lot of promise, which may be why the Raptors wanted him on the roster, according to The Athletic. He stands at a towering 6’9 and weighs 194 lbs. He played for one full year at the University of Nebraska before the draft.
Toronto’s Very Own
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) July 30, 2021
Banton got into basketball while attending high school in Toronto before transferring to different prep schools in the States, says the Toronto Star. The Raptors also picked up David Johnson, who was 47th overall and one spot behind Banton.
The Scottie Barnes pick was the first time Toronto held the 4th overall pick since 2003, when they took Hall of Famer Chris Bosh. Barnes, from West Palm Beach, Florida, played last season for Florida State and took home all-conference and all-freshman awards in the ACC.