With mutual interest between Duke and Canadian Chris Egi, the 6’9, 200lb class of 2015 Center, I wanted to learn a little more about the recent watershed of talent coming out of Canada and who better to ask than Tariq Sbiet (@Tariq_NPH), Canadian National Scout at NPH (North Pole Hoops).
First a little more about Chris Egi from NPH: Chris Egi is the model student-athlete, holds a 95% academic average and is a BEAST on the floor. Currently NPH #1-Ranked Canadian prospect in the class of 2015, he continues to develop is all around game and is a highly sought after recruit.
My Take: Seeing film on Egi, I seriously doubt what I’m watching is doing him justice, he seems to gravitate toward the rim like a missile. Uber athletic for a 6’9 Center, he doesn’t need that height to jump out of the gym. Defensively he is a very adept shot-blocker and offensively he is what you want in a big man, mobile and can get up and put it back in. He should be able to make a living in the paint and with his classroom acumen he could do very well at Duke should that relationship progress.
A little background on North Pole Hoops:
The mandate for NorthPoleHoops.com is to build the Canadian basketball culture while inspiring student-athletes to work hard, push their limits to achieve success on and off the hard wood.
NPH provides a voice for the Canadian basketball community; players, coaches, parents and fans.
Here is my conversation with Tariq Sbiet:
Brian: Do you find a lot of big schools are more focused on what’s happening in Canada now more so than before?
Tariq: Definitely over the last 2 or 3 years with this year being the highest interest with Bennett (Anthony) going 1 and of course wiggins (Andrew) doing his thing there’s definitely been a high interest in the game from college coaches.
Brian: Do you think having an NBA team has helped with basketball becoming big in Canada?
Tariq: I think that a lot of people have brought that as a reason for it, I definitely think it helps anytime you have an organization as large as an NBA team in a city its gonna influence kids to play the game so definitely in that sense its done that, but i believe more on the amateur scale, on the grassroots level a lot of different organizations across the board and across the country have done a great job of investing into the game. Whether it be former players that played at the d1 level and now are coming back to provide an opportunity that they never had when they were growing up or maybe they did have that opportunity and wanted to provide another option.
So i think the development of players especially at a younger age from all club programs across the country has played an integral role in taking the game to the next level in Canada but also on another note the media aspect I think.
Back when we started NPH, years back, that’s what it was about, providing opportunities and providing the right exposure for kids — I’m not just saying it’s us but the major media, the mainstream media outlets are starting to catch on now which is great for the growth of the game because there are tons of players. Canada’s always had talent, college coaches have always asked and we we’ve always said canada has talent but now the difference is that there’s more of an investment into the game whether it be on the development end whether it be on the exposure end or otherwise on the academic end providing info on the NCAA Clearinghouse and all the prerequisites that you need, all that sort of stuff and all those resources have played a role, the internet has also played a role so its a combination of things.
Brian: Who are some names we should be hearing in terms of players in the coming months and years from Canada?
Tariq: There’s a ton of kids coming up, its amazing the level of talent especially in the younger age groups, and what we are seeing is a progression of kids, 7th and 8th graders don’t look like 7th and 8th graders did 5 years ago which is great.
But to answer your question you may know about guys like Montaque Gill-Ceasar who’s already at Huntington Prep.
I’m just trying to break it down by class – In 2015 you’ve got Chris Egi who’s heading to MonteVerde in Florida, you have in the 2014 class Trey Lyles and Marial Shayok, then you have Munis Tutu – a name that nobody knows about yet but he’s going to be a stud. Munis plays at La Lumiere he’s a Point Guard and could be, I think, the best point guard in the country when it’s all said and done and when I say country i mean The States too.
Justin Jackson and Jamal Murray are part of a special 2016 class, Jamal Murray was the MVP of the Jordan Brand game, Justin Jackson is another big time prospect in that class. Those are probably the top two in Canada for 2016 I could go up to 2017 and 2018 but I always feel like its too early for those kids to get that kind of spotlight.
Brian: Very cool man, I really appreciate your time, clearly Canada is coming on strong in the world of recruiting and basketball as a whole.