The NBA's youngest player is from Toronto and he just dazzled in his return home
A top-tier Canadian basketball talent is cutting his teeth in his rookie NBA season, and Tuesday night was Josh Primo's first visit to his birthplace of the Greater Toronto Area as a pro.
Canada's position on the global basketball stage has only been growing in the last several years, producing several top talents including Primo, who became the most recent first-round pick out of the north when he was selected by the San Antonio Spurs 12th overall in the 2021 NBA draft.
Since being drafted, the Mississauga-born talent — who attended Royal Crown Academic School in Scarborough before playing NCAA ball for Alabama — has been splitting time between the Austin Spurs of the NBA G League and the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.
But he was surely happy to be on the pro team's roster for Tuesday's Toronto outing.
Texas is a long way from Primo's roots in the cold north, and Primo was clearly happy to reconnect with his home city, walking the streets prior to the Spurs' Tuesday evening home game, played to an empty house at Scotiabank Arena.
Running through the 6️⃣ with Primo 🇨🇦— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 4, 2022
Josh talks about what it's like returning to his hometown while taking a stroll in Toronto ahead of our game tonight.@JoshuaPrimo4 | #PorVida pic.twitter.com/rtpXypOS6L
"We back in the city, where I grew up," said Primo in the video shared by the Spurs.
"It's great being back. Missed it a lot," remarks Primo as he strolls along Toronto's posh Yorkville Avenue.
"Just ready to play and in a place I've played a bunch," says Primo, "but it's going to feel different this time, knowing I'm in the NBA, knowing I've got family watching me."
Primo says how "It's amazing to come back after all that's happened in the last nine months or so and just be able to reconnect with family, with old friends, it's a warm feeling."
19yo Mississauga native Josh Primo on first NBA game in Toronto: "Its kinda weird. Its been my home for so long and I'm coming back now and I'm visiting, I'm the enemy. Its a warm feeling knowing that I'm gonna have family cheering me on but other than that its business as usual" pic.twitter.com/QaY6EV4lV1— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) January 4, 2022
And he must have been feeling that warmth on the court. The 19-year-old — currently the NBA's youngest player — recorded a career-high 15 points, along with five rebounds, four assists, and a pair of blocks.
Though it wasn't enough to make a difference: The Raptors clobbered the Spurs 129-104 in a dominant showing.
Career high 15 points tonight for the youngest player in the NBA, Joshua Primo of the San Antonio Spurs who just turned 19 years of age 11 days ago.— Anil Gogna (@aniljamesgogna) January 5, 2022
Full stat line:
15pts, 5rebs, 4assts, 2blks
Primo's brief video also reflects on the city's growing importance on the basketball landscape, saying that "Toronto's a huge basketball city. Growing up watching guys like Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, DeMar DeRozan, they paved the way for a lot of guys like me."
And the rising star has high hopes for the future of basketball in Canada, even stating that one of his top career goals is to represent Team Canada on an Olympic roster.
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