RJ Barrett, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, headlines a historic rookie class that saw six Canadians get drafted and two more earn Two-Way contracts as undrafted free agents.
Barrett became the ninth lottery pick to hail from Canada in the history of the draft and to many, bears the torch of the future of basketball in the country.
Now, 17 games into his rookie season, the 19-year-old is set to return home as the New York Knicks make their first of two visits to Scotiabank Arena.
It will be his first time taking the floor in Canada since Duke took part in a series of exhibition games in Toronto prior to his freshman season.
While it has been a less-than-ideal start to the season for the Knicks, Barrett has shown plenty of promise, posting averages of 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists early on, with his career-high 26 points coming in just the third game of his career.
After missing New York's most recent game with an illness, Barrett is set to get back in action against the team he grew up rooting for.
Ahead of his first game as a pro in Canada, take a look back at notable homecoming performances from other Canadian players...
Keeping Up With The Canadians 🇨🇦- NBA Canada (@NBACanada) February 4, 2019
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned home on Sunday and put on a show for the @LAClippers!
1 STEAL#ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/D9lX6Pecds
Feb. 3, 2019 - Raptors 121, Clippers 103
Gilgeous-Alexander: 19 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK, 1 STL
In what was his first game in Canada since he was a sophomore in high school four years ago, Gilgeous-Alexander and the Clippers took on the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena - less than an hour away from where the 20-year-old honed his game growing up.
He didn't disappoint.
With over 50 friends and family members in attendance, the Clippers' rookie point guard finished the night with a team-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal.
Gilgeous-Alexander was one of the few bright spots for the Clippers in the game, as they suffered an 18-point loss to the Raptors.
Feb. 4, 2018 - Raptors 101, Grizzlies 86
Brooks: 12 PTS, 5 REB
Brooks, a native of nearby Mississauga, quickly went from a second-round pick to the wing of the Grizzlies' future. In front of a big group of family and friends, Brooks finished with 12 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
March 18, 2015 - Raptors 105, Timberwolves 100
Wiggins: 15 PTS (6-for-9 FG), 3 REB
As the second Canadian to ever be selected first overall in the NBA Draft, expectations were high for Andrew Wiggins when he entered the league; he delivered.
In his return to Toronto, Wiggins finished with 15 points and three rebounds, but the Wolves would lose a close five-point decision to the Raptors. He finished his rookie season averaging 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 82 games and earned Rookie of the Year honours.
Jan. 28, 2015 - Raptors 119, Kings 102
Stauskas: 8 PTS (3-for-5 FG), 1 STL
Stauskas, another Mississauga native, returned home in January of his rookie year. In a 17-point loss, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft finished with an efficient eight points and a steal.
Feb. 21, 2014 - Raptors 98, Cavaliers 91
Bennett: 9 PTS (4-for-6 FG), 3 REB
Bennett will forever hold a place in history as he is the first Canadian to be selected first overall in the NBA Draft. It was not until February that he returned to Canada to play, but he delivered a solid nine-point performance off the bench in a narrow Cavs loss.
Nov. 20, 2000 - Hornets 100, Raptors 64
Magloire: 16 PTS, 8 REB, 3 BLK
Jamaal "Big Cat" Magloire returned to play in his hometown of Toronto early on in his rookie year. In a blowout win, Magloire showed exactly why the Hornets used a first round pick to select him as he finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench.
Nov. 14, 1996 - Grizzlies 92, Suns 89
Nash: 17 PTS, 12 AST, 7 REB
Hall of fame point guard Steve Nash, a native of Victoria, BC, made the first start of his storied career in Vancouver.
In just the eighth game of his rookie season, Nash showed signs of things to come later on in his career as he finished the game with 17 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds, but a struggling Suns team failed to get the win over the Grizzlies, who were also struggling at the time.
Nash only started once more that season and posted averages of 3.3 points and 2.1 assists over 65 games. Modest numbers compared to his career averages of 14.3 points and 8.5 assists.
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