Raptors draft Baylor safeguard Ja’Kobe Walter

TORONTO – Ja’Kobe Walter hasn’t ever been to Canada, but if he arrives in Toronto he desires to build a direct affect.

Walter used to be drafted nineteenth general through the Toronto Raptors within the first spherical of the NBA Draft on Wednesday. The six-foot-five, 195-pound safeguard from McKinney, Texas, mentioned he had prime expectancies when he joins his untouched workforce.

“I’m just trying to make an immediate impact in any way I can,” mentioned Walter in a video convention from the draft flooring in Pristine York Town. “Whatever they need me to do coming in, I’m gonna do it for them and really just try to bring that winning intensity.”

Walter averaged 14.5 issues, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists as a freshman for the Baylor Bears latter season. He mentioned he was hoping to seamlessly mix with the Raptors younger core of Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, and RJ Barrett of Mississauga, Ont.

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“I’ve watched all of them play college-wise and in the NBA,” mentioned Walter, who didn’t figure out for the Raptors sooner than getting drafted through the workforce. “Scottie is a heavy character man, what he brings to the workforce: the entire power. RJ identical with him, he can rating the ball rather well and next Quickley is only a splendid level safeguard.

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“I think I’m going to fitting in well with them and I’m super excited.”

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Raptors common supervisor Bobby Webster addressed media on the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto’s west finish then the primary spherical used to be whole. He mentioned Walter inspired as a result of he’s so well-rounded.

“Always been a winner, tough, fits the mould of a two-way Raptors player. He can make a shot, can play defence,” mentioned Webster. “He’s a guy we followed for a while but we didn’t necessarily think he’d be there at No. 19. So, we feel great.”

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For his section, Walter idea he brings some other constituent to the court docket.

“I’m just focusing more on my shot creation,” he mentioned. “I think a lot of people forget that I can score the ball very well. So I say that part of my game is what I’m trying to show.”

Walter’s first identify Ja’Kobe — pronounced juh-KOH’-bee — is a mixture of the names of all-time greats Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. The nineteen-year-old laughed that given his identify it used to be preordained that he would ultimately be drafted to the NBA.

“Me and my family talked about this for a long time. I prayed so many times for just this moment, right here,” mentioned Walter. “So now that it’s finally here, it’s just dreams into reality and I’m just grateful.”

Toronto additionally has the primary select of the second one spherical, Incorrect. 31 general. For the primary era in NBA Draft historical past, the second one spherical is on a unique past than the primary.

The choice procedure will resume on Thursday afternoon, giving groups era to procedure how the primary spherical went and what they are able to do in the second one.

“We’ll probably have some pretty big fights tomorrow in the morning about who we would take and then simultaneously take calls (from other teams) and say ‘OK, can we get multiple picks? Can we move back a little bit and still get the same guy?’” mentioned Webster. “It’s a bit of a novelty for all of us here to have two days of the draft and see what happens.”

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France’s Zaccharie Risacher used to be picked first general through the Atlanta Hawks.

Zach Edey used to be decided on 9th general within the NBA Draft through the Memphis Grizzlies. The 22-year-old centre from Toronto used to be the primary Canadian to be drafted this yr.

This record through The Canadian Press used to be first revealed June 26, 2024.

&magazine 2024 The Canadian Press

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