In the modern era basketball has grown to become a universal game. Canada has honed great upcoming stars; Rowan Barrett Jr. is no stranger to the basketball community. The 17 year-old phenom is the #1 prospect in the 2018 Class. Next season Barrett will join forces with the Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils. In the beginning of his Junior Year R.J. decided to reclassify to the 2018 class, which opened many doors for his recruiting process. The Brampton native narrowed his final 5 schools to: Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan, and Duke. In the last 2 seasons R.J. has emerged into a 5-star recruit that led Team Canada to its first Gold Medal at the 2017 Fiba World Cup. The Brampton native averaged 21.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 5 assists and received tournament MVP honours. With that win Canada basketball had claimed national supremacy and have brought prominence back to the homeland.
In his final year at Montverde Academy R.J. has continued to impose his will on the American soil, playing alongside fellow Canuck Andrew Nembhard. The two have grown as players over the years from their days together in AAU and high school. The 2 Canadians play for legendary Coach Boyle; Coach Boyle is nationally recognized and has been a sole contributor to the development of various top prospects. Before his stint at Montverde Academy Coach Boyle was at St. Patrick's, where he led the Celtics to 4 TOC titles and coached over 45 Division I athletes including Kyrie Irving, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Al Harrington. Coach Boyle has high expectations for his star player Barrett as he look to embark on his new journey next fall and believes that R.J. will be the number 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
R.J. hasn't been a stranger to national accolades, after winning the Naismith and Wotten awards he has reached a new dimension. On Friday March 16, R.J. Barrett Jr. was named the National Gatorade Player of the year, joining fellow Canuck Andrew Wiggins who was selected back in 2013. Barrett has become the 2nd player from the Eagles program to win this award after NBA star Ben Simmons, it is no coincidence that both players led Montverde Academy to historical prominence, and now Barrett has the chance carve his own legacy. It will be a great sight to watch Ben Simmons square off against Barrett. R.J. still has the potential to become the best Canadian player in history, which is highly attainable. The future Blue Devil will flourish at the next level especially playing for a storied program such as Duke.
Canada basketball has been on a rise with their development of their top tier players, in addition to their 1st gold medal the future remains bright for Team Canada. The great lineage of Canadian players helped paved dividends to upcoming prospects such as R.J. Barrett Jr. as he becomes the "Second Coming". If Team Canada qualifies for the 2020 Olympics, that will be another defining moment for Canada as they have another chance to claim national supremacy. Be sure to follow R.J. on his journey this season, as he will be participating in this years McDonald's All-American game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike World Hoop Summit game. Does Team Canada have their new saviour that will take them to the promise land? It's safe to say that he's "Kid Canada".
Athlete: R.J. Barrett Jr. (@rjbarrett)
Special Thanks: Slam Magazine, Canada Basketball, ESPN, TSN
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