Friday, June 24, 2011

San Antonio Spurs


Cory Joseph won't be travelling far to take the next step in his basketball career.
After leaving the University of Texas after his freshman season to enter the NBA draft, the Pickering resident was selected in the first round, 29th overall by the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at the Prudential Centre in Newark, home of the New Jersey Nets.
It was an historic night for Canadian basketball, as for the first time in the history of the draft, two Canadians were chosen in the first round. Joseph's teammate at Texas, Tristan Thompson of Brampton, was selected fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With Joseph ranked anywhere from a first-round prospect, to a second, to getting passed over all together, the Spurs raised a few eyebrows with the selection of Joseph. But GM R.C. Buford said on the team's website that they watched Joseph play a lot last season and were focused on selecting him.
"We think he has terrific defensive qualities, terrific Spur qualities, one of the best freshman guards in the country," he said, adding he hopes Joseph contributes next season.
Just prior to the draft, Joseph addressed the media following a workout with the Toronto Raptors.
"I want to get drafted as high as I possibly can," he said on NBA.com during a media scrum. "I wish that I get drafted high, but I don't have any expectations. Where ever I go, I'm just going to make the best situation out of it."
Joseph, a former OFSAA champion with Pickering High School, took his game to Findlay Prep School in Las Vegas for two years before being recruited by the University of Texas.
As a freshman with the Longhorns, Joseph was named to the USBWA freshman All-America Second Team, All-Big 12 honorable mention and the Big 12 All-Rookie Team. He led the Longhorns in assists (3.0 per game), steals (37 total), three-point field goal percentage (.413, 52-of-126) and minutes played (32.4 per game), finished fourth on the team in rebounding (3.6 per game) and tied for fourth in scoring (10.4 points per game).
After just one year of NCAA basketball, he opted for the NBA draft.

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