Raptors 905 announce open tryout selections for camp


Today, Raptors 905 selected five players from the team’s open tryout to attend the upcoming training camp. The Toronto Raptors’ D-League affiliate chose between 75 players while making the decision, ultimately going with one player for each position. Pending approval from the league, each player while be in uniform for Raptors 905 come November.

Jabulant (Jabs) Newby
Age: 24 / 6-2 / SG / Gannon University (2014) / Brampton, Ont.

Walter Pitchford
Age: 23 / 6-10 / PF / University of Nebraska (2015) / Grand Rapids, MI

Keanau Post
Age: 23 / 6-11 / C / University of Missouri (2015) / Victoria, BC

Ashton Smith
Age: 26 / 6-2 / PG / Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2012) / Scarborough, Ont.

Kevin Thomas
Age: 23 / 6-8 / SF / Troy University (2015) / Ajax, Ont.

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Expectedly, most selected players are from Canada. This makes sense considering who would have had the time to come to an open D-League call in Toronto. Let’s take a brief look at each player, starting with our point guard, Ashton Smith.

Smith plays for the Mississauga Power of the National Basketball League of Canada, but it is hard to find much information beyond that about him online. He is the elder statesman of the group, going undrafted after finishing his time in Pennsylvania in 2012. Since then, he has played for several barely professional teams.

Shooting guard Jabulant Newby (seriously, that is his name) also plays for the Mississauga Power. He is a star in the league, but that isn’t really saying much. Newby originally played college ball for Eastern Kentucky, before transferring to Gannon and finishing his sports management degree. If Newby can’t find his way onto the finalized Raptors 905 roster, my guess is he will end up on the management side of sports sooner, rather than later.

Kevin Thomas, a small forward from Ajax, Ontario, had a strong college career for Troy University, averaging 10.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game during his senior season. Now, he is an undrafted prospect looking for a home. Based on his play at Troy and his professional-level body (6-8, 215 pounds), he could have a chance of cracking the Raptors 905 roster.

Walter Pitchford, continuing the trend of quirky names, is the only non-Canadian on the list. Pitchford graduated from the University of Nebraska last year. He actually could have had a chance of securing employment directly after college had he not turned in such an underwhelming senior season. In 2013-14, he averaged 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, shooting 47% from the field. But, when given a bigger role as a senior, he managed just 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, shooting an abysmal 38% from the field. He could use the confidence boost from a solid training camp.

Finally, Keanau Post, a center out of Missouri, has the body of an NBA big (6-11, 270 pounds), but probably not the skill. While he played for a legitimate college competitor, he offered only minimal contributions. Post managed just 4.0 points and 3.6 rebounds during his senior season. He could still be picked up if Raptors 905 need a blocking specialist.

The stage is now set for a few players to earn their way into the D-League. From there, they will continue to try to work towards the ultimate goal: the NBA.

Next: Can the Raptors find bigs who can score?

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