Who says Canadians can't play basketball? Nik Stauskas who plays for the Michigan Wolverines of the NCAA's Big Ten conference has been lighting it up in his freshmen year. He leads all Big Ten freshmen’s in points per game and is in the top 5 in the NCAA in three point percentage.
When you watch him play, you expect him to hit his three point shots. When he misses you are surprised. Trey Burke who is an all American said, "I get on him when he does miss one." John Beilein is the head coach of the Wolverines and said, "He's shown he can guard some people, he's shown he can get in the lane. Obviously he can shoot." He is one of the best freshmen in the league, all from a guy who is from Mississauga.
The Big Ten conference is considered to be the toughest conference in the NCAA. The Wolverines are currently ranked second in the NCAA polls. For a Canadian kid to be playing regularly on a team as good as Michigan’s team, let alone starting and being one of the leading scorers is unheard of. Canada has made huge leaps in its basketball program and Stauskas is a perfect example of the potential Canada has to produce top notch talent.
To say he will play in the NBA is too early to say. But from what we have seen so far it is definitely not out of the questions. We need to see how he does playing against top tier programs on a regular level. In regards to his shot, "I've always been confident in my shot, no matter where I've been," Stauskas said. "I've been working on it in my backyard for my whole life. I felt good about all of them tonight."
His future is bright and the sky is the limit. Being on a championship calibre team he will get all the exposure and training needed to make it to the next level. But like most freshmen, he is just taking it a day at a time and trying to live in the moment.