Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie OG Anunoby Healthy Enough to Play in Raptors' Intrasquad Game

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie OG Anunoby Healthy Enough to Play in Raptors' Intrasquad Game

Article excerpt

Victoria fans get first glimpse of Anunoby


VICTORIA - Toronto Raptors fans in Victoria got the first glimpse of rookie OG Anunoby.

Anunoby, who underwent surgery in January to repair a torn ACL, was a surprise addition to Thursday night's open scrimmage at the University of Victoria. The Raptors had been tight-lipped about the 20-year-old's potential return, and speculation had pegged him to make his debut in November. But wearing No. 3, his preferred short shorts, and a brace around his right knee, Anunoby looked comfortable driving and cutting in his 16 minutes of action.

"He's coming, he's still a ways away, but this is good conditioning for him, get the rust off," said coach Dwane Casey. "He hasn't played in full-speed competition in awhile. We understood and knew the rust he was going to have on his wheels, but I really like the way he played, his instinctive plays that he made.

"Like I told him 'it doesn't matter what you look like right now, we just want to get the rust off."

The Raptors believe they got one of the biggest steals, and one of the most versatile defenders, of this year's draft when they selected Anunoby 23rd overall. The six-foot-eight, athletic combo forward averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in his sophomore season at Indiana, but his college career was cut short when he tore his ACL.

"I felt good," Anunoby said. "Just getting reps, just playing, getting used to being back on the floor. I was feeling good at practice the last week so I thought I should play."

Thursday night's intrasquad game drew a capacity crowd of 2,700 to UVIC's gymnasium, with a couple of hundred fans showing up three hours early to nab one of the standing-room spots.

On a night that featured several impressive performances, Kyle Lowry's black team beat DeMar DeRozan's grey team 89-63. Had there been an MVP award, it would have gone to Norm Powell or Canadian Kyle Wiltjer. …

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