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Simi Shittu

NEW YORK - The future of Canadian basketball was on display in New York City over the weekend.

On Friday afternoon, R.J. Barrett was named MVP of the International Game at the Jordan Brand Classic, which also featured countryman Andrew Nembhard. Barrett is a freshman at Montverde (FL) Academy, where he is expected to be joined in the fall by Nembhard. The 6-foot-2 guard is currently enrolled at Vaughan Secondary School in Ontario.

Saturday morning saw Simi Shittu take over the Canadian spotlight. A teammate of Barrett at Montverde, the 6-foot-9 class of 2018 power forward made his 17-under debut on the Nike EYBL circuit at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal for CIA Bounce, finishing with 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting in a 76-74 loss to Team Griffin.

Tags: Josh Newman, Montverde Academy, Simi Shittu
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UNION, N.J. -- Simi Shittu and R.J. Barrett admitted it was a little strange to be playing at Kean University in New Jersey on Friday night considering the NBA All-Star Game is in their native Canada.

"It's a little weird because it feels like we're missing out because some of my friends are playing some Jordan [Brand] event [in Toronto]," the 6-foot-8 Shittu said after putting up 16 points and 8 rebounds as Montverde (FL) Academy fended off a late challenge from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic to win, 59-55, at the Metro Classic.

"But we're here because we just wanted to get this win because this a building point to Dick's Nationals [where the team has won three straight championships] and we just wanted to jell when we get to the end of the season."

Tags: Montverde Academy, R.J. Barrett, Simi Shittu, Adam Zagoria
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Until this season, the influx of Canadian basketball talent hadn't hit Montverde (FL) Academy as much as it had some of its rivals on the American national basketball landscape.

After all, current NBA players Andrew Wiggins (Huntington Prep), Anthony Bennett (Findlay Prep) and Tyler Ennis (St. Benedict's Prep) all played elsewhere.

But beginning this season, three Canadians are playing for legendary coach Kevin Boyle at Montverde Academy and two of them -- 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Simi Shittu and 6-6 freshman guard R.J. Barrett -- have all the makings of future NBA players.

Tags: Montverde Academy, R.J. Barrett, Recruiting, Simi Shittu, Adam Zagoria
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