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Toronto Raptors

Happy Birthday, OG Anunoby! A look back at his best moments through two seasons with the Toronto Raptors

og-anunoby-3-pointer-2018-playoffs
OG Anunobiy (NBA Getty Images)

OG Anunoby has shown plenty of promise in his first two seasons as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

Today, he turns 22.

In celebration of his 22nd trip around the sun, let's take a look back at some of the more memorable moments of his professional career.

June 22, 2017 - With the 23rd pick…

Toronto used the No. 23 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to select Anunoby, a 19-year-old forward from Indiana University with tremendous upside despite his status of recovering from a torn ACL.

Moments after hearing his name called, the oft-reserved draftee told ESPN that he was feeling "a lot of excitement, nervousness but I'm happy."

When asked how he planned on celebrating, his answer was simple: "With some cheesecake."

Dec. 20, 2017 - A career shooting performance

Two months into his rookie season, Anunoby made a big statement as the Raptors visited the Charlotte Hornets.

In the 17th start of his young career, he erupted for 20 points, knocking down a career-high six of his seven 3-point attempts and shooting 77.8% overall from the field that night.

It was a sign of things to come.

May 5, 2018 - Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 3

It's not easy to earn a starting role as a rookie on a playoff team but Anunoby did just that, starting in 62 of 74 regular-season games to enter the postseason as the team's full-time starting forward.

At just 20-years-old, he would start in all 10 of the team's postseason games, taking on challenges most rookies would be unable to bear.

Anunoby's best postseason performance came as he faced his biggest challenge in LeBron James. While being tasked with guarding one of the best players in league history, OG was the Raptors' second-leading scorer with 18 points while shooting 7-for-12 from the field, including a clutch game-tying 3-pointer before LeBron's game-winner heard 'round the world.

It didn't result in a win, but Anunoby again proved he was as fearless as they come.

MORE: Grading OG Anunoby's sophomore season

Feb. 13, 2019 - A new career-high

The Raptors' offseason acquisition of Kawhi Leonard relegated Anunoby to a reserve role in his sophomore year but he still found ways to produce.

After scoring in double figures 10 times as a rookie, Anunoby did so 15 times in Year 2, including a career-best performance in a win over the Wizards. In 35 minutes of action, he would score 22 points (on 9-14 shooting) to go along with five rebounds and a steal.

Feb. 15, 2019 - Rising Star

Two days after setting a career-high, Anunoby got another moment in the spotlight as he represented Team World in the Mtn Dew ICE Rising Stars Game at All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, NC.

Anunoby saw 17 minutes of action, scoring 12 points and electrifying the crowd and international audience with his athleticism.

After missing out as a rookie, it was fitting that Anunoby was tabbed as a "rising star" given his body of work and impact as a player.

July 17, 2019, and Beyond

141 games into his career, Anunoby has posted averages of 6.4 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 46.1% from the field and 35.1% from beyond the arc.

He's started in each of the 10 playoff games he appeared in and despite missing the 2019 postseason after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, is now an NBA champion.

All before the age of 22.

It's safe to say the future is promising for Anunoby.

On draft night, he vowed to work hard once he got to Toronto, and his first two seasons suggest he has done just that. Under the tutelage of one of the best development staffs in the league, there's no telling what jump OG can make going into Year 3.

There's plenty to celebrate and much to strive for moving forward but for now, happy birthday, OG! Enjoy some cheesecake.

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