The Toronto Raptors have plundered all sorts of atypical wells of talent in order to replenish their roster and build a winner in the last few seasons. The HBCU pipeline has been neglected for a very long time despite the fact that some future NBA contributors are waiting to be discovered.
Be it through the HBCU All-Star game or the fact that many of the best players from that game have since earned NBA G League Combine invitations, the quality in conferences like the MEAC and SWAC is still evident today. It’s about time the NBA decides to take an interest in them.
Currently, there is only one HBCU alum in the NBA. Tennessee State’s Robert Covington is the one player representing dozens of standouts that have not been able to get the opportunity to make it to the pros. In 2022, these schools have pumped out another batch of qualified prospects.
These three players all have traits that suggest they can be quality NBA players in the right system. If Toronto decides against picking one of them with the No. 33 pick, they could still be snatched up with a two-way contract after the draft ends. This way worked for Justin Champagnie, and it can work for these studs as well.
3 HBCU prospects the Toronto Raptors need to add.
3. Brison Gresham, PF, Texas Southern
After leaving UMass and spending three years as a backup with Houston, Gresham decided to travel across town and link up with the Tigers. Even though his playing time was limited, the burly power forward was a force on defense that caught the eye of professional scouts.
The 6-9, 240-pound Grisham averaged 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game despite the fact he only averaged 19.7 minutes per game last year. With a 7-2 wingspan and the mobility needed to defend multiple positions, Gresham carries with him the potential to become a quality rim protector.
Brison Gresham could be a good defender for the Toronto Raptors.
Grisham will require multiple years of attention in the G League before he is considered a viable offensive player. Despite playing with three different programs in five seasons, Gresham never averaged more than 7.3 points per game and has only one season with more than four points per game.
Grisham is a five-year senior that is nowhere close to contributing on offense in the pros. That’s a hard sell to even the biggest Grisham fan out there. If Toronto is willing to put in the time to make him something passable as a scorer, that defensive skill could blossom on the bench.