Pacers select Montreal-native Bennedict Mathurin sixth overall in NBA Draft

Watch as NBA commissioner Adam Silver announces that the Indiana Pacers have selected Montreal native Bennedict Mathurin sixth overall in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Bennedict Mathurin was the first Canadian picked in the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday.

The 20-year-old from Montreal was selected sixth overall by the Indiana Pacers.

Mathurin finished his sophomore season with the Arizona Wildcats capturing the Pac-12 Player of the Year award and earning first-team All-Pac-12 honours. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound wing was also named a second-team All-American by The Associated Press.

He competed in the 2021 FIBA Under-19 World Cup and scored a game-high 31 points during Canada's 101-92 win over Serbia in the bronze medal match.

Mathurin becomes the fifth Canadian to be selected in the top-6 of an NBA Draft, joining 1st Anthony Bennett (first, 2013), Andrew Wiggins (first, 2014), RJ Barrett (third, 2019) and Tristan Thompson (fourth, 2011).

Asked where he'd be in five years during a pre-draft press conference, Mathurin said: “The best player in the NBA.”

Shaedon Sharpe of London, Ont., was the second Canadian selected in the draft, going to the Portland Trail Blazers one pick later. It marks the first time two Canadians have been selected within the first seven pick of the same draft and the first time two Canadians have been chosen back-to-back.

Andrew Nembhard of Aurora, Ont., and Caleb Houstan of Mississauga, Ont., are also high-profile Canadian prospects who could hear their names called in the NBA Draft.

Sharpe, 19, decided to reclassify and redshirt at Kentucky this past season and declared for the NBA Draft without having played a single game of college basketball. He earned a silver medal with Canada at the 2019 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship.

Nembhard grabbed first-team All-WCC honours and the WCC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award with Gonzaga. The 22-year-old guard already has experience with Canada's senior team competing in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Houstan, 19, averaged 10.1 points per game on 42.6 per cent shooting during his freshman year at Michigan and was also a member of Canada's bronze medal-winning squad at the U19 World Cup.

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