I wouldn’t know Dewan Hernandez if he sat down on the stool next to me and I would get 95 or 98 per cent of you would be in the same circumstances and since I don’t like to pass judgement on a kid until I’ve met him, there’s not an awful lot to say.
And since I bet the first time I get to meet him will be at media day next fall – not sure the Raptors are going to go to great lengths to hold a media availability with their 59th pick in last night’s draft – so here’s a barebones recitation of who and what he is.
He’s a 6-foot-10 kid, 22 years old, went by Dewan Huell until last October when he changed his name to take his mother’s name.
He’s from Miami and a graduate of the University of Miami who sat out all of the last NCAA season after being caught up in an NCAA eligibility probe surrounding illegal payments to players, although he was eventually reinstated in January winning an appeal (there was apparently no record of him receiving any payments.)
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He decided then to give up his last year at school to concentrate on preparing for the draft, his play at the G League Elite Camp that got him an invite to the NBA combine and, presto, he’s the second to last pick in the draft.
Can he play at the NBA level? I have no idea and won’t have until the fall but if there’s one thing the Raptors have done over the past half decade, it’s find guys who can play in the most unlikely places so who knows?
The only guy I know well who would have had any significant interaction with Hernandez is the great Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press and he told to us, and me, on the tweeter machine last night that Hernandez is a “ super kid and much like the rest of Canada, not the biggest fan of the NCAA.”
We’ll hear more later today from Bobby Webster but there you go, what we’ve got now on Your Newest Raptor.
All right, draft’s over, free agency is a week or 10 days away so you must have questions.
And I probably have answers.
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As I mentioned, am totally bailing on this endeavour tomorrow morning so I don’t get out of bed so here’s your last shot at getting in on the Sunday morning mailbag.
It’s at firstname.lastname@example.org and you know what to do.
Speaking of the draft, it’s historical significance for Canada should not get lost.
With six guys taken – RJ Barrett, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Brandon Clarke, Mfiondu Kabengele, Ignas Brazdeikis, Marial Shayok – it’s not only the most ever for Canada but the most for one country other than the United States in any one draft ever.
That’s a huge testament to the depth of talent the country is producing and everyone connected with the game should share a sense of pride.
Even with the absolute little I know about NCAA basketball – and it’s barebones, for sure – I was a bit surprised that Montreal’s Luguentz Dort wasn’t selected. And since I kept seeing his name high on Jay Bilas’s list of “best remaining available players” from about two-thirds of the way through the first round until I went to bet, it seems others were surprised, too.
I’m sure he, and a bunch of other Canadians who declared themselves for the draft and went unselected, will be signed today somewhere to Summer League and training camp contracts so that’s pretty good, too.
Kawhi Leonard goes to a Blue Jays game and even though he left early they still won?
Coincidence? I think not.
It was somewhat shocking news yesterday that my guy, the great Bob McCown is taking his leave of Prime Time Sports on the radio after today, an end of an era in sports broadcasting in Canada that will not ever be duplicated.
I know Bob was something of a polarizing figure but don’t sports talk show hosts have to be?
And that he lasted 30 years – THREE FREAKING DECADES – in a cutthroat business where the only constant is constant change is a true testament to his skills as traffic director in a crazy hard industry.
It was my pleasure many, many, many times to have been a guest on his show, a participant on the Friday round table and, on occasion, a co-host for a weeklong stint. It was always entertaining, always challenging, always informative and the fact he had little time for interviewing athletes because they tend to have nothing to say was a point in his favour, I’d say.
Sure, he could be irascible but he wasn’t that much of a screamer and he certainly didn’t do the “Hey, look at me!” crap that’s sadly taking over some airwaves.
I liked the guy, like chatting with him off-air, liked working with him on the air.
And I will tell you this: I have no clue who they will get to ultimately replace him in the fall but they cannot dare to try and duplicate what Bob did because that can’t be done.
I am sure he will show up again in some form of media and it will be interesting to see where and what he does.
But for the rest of time, Canadian sports talk radio will never be the same.
That’s some kind of legacy, isn’t it?