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Raptors Uprising GC restocks in NBA 2K draft ahead of Season 2 of esports league

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Raptors Uprising GC took Frederick (Im So Far Ahead) Mendoza with the 15th overall pick in the NBA 2K League draft Tuesday at the Barclays Center. 

The 26-year-old from Woodbridge, Va., averaged 13.5 points a game with Pistons GT in the inaugural year of the NBA esports league.

"I'm just blessed to be here again," Mendoza said after being drafted a second year in a row.

Pistons GT took him in the fifth round in 2017 but elected not to retain him.

Jazz Gaming, by virtue of winning the NBA 2K League draft lottery, took Spencer (Ria) Wyman with the first overall pick.

Kenneth (Kenny) Hailey and Trevion (All Hail Trey) Hendrix were the only holdovers from the Raptors Uprising squad that lost to Cavs Legion GC in the playoff quarterfinals.

Magic Gaming took Daniel (DT) Tlais of Windsor, Ont., in the second round (29th overall), the first international player taken.

"It's a pretty big accomplishment. I'm just ready to get to work to be honest. That's really going to go through one ear and out the other," said Tlais, resplendent in a bow-tie. "I just want to get to work and start hooping."

Raptors Uprising took American Georgio (OOC Slim) Bonte in the second round (35th overall) and used their third-round pick (49th overall) to bring Seanquai (KingQuai614) Harris back into the fold.

Harris was part of the 2018 Raptors Uprising team.

"So blessed and thankful for the opportunity to be back in the 6," he tweeted. 

Raptors Uprising reclaimed Joshua (TsJosh) McKenna, another member of their 2018 team, in the fourth round (69th overall).

Two former members of Raptors Uprising went in the third round: Christopher (Detoxys) Doyle was taken by Lakers Gaming (44th overall) while Toronto native Yusuf (Yusuf_Scarbz) Abdulla went to Kings Guard Gaming (53rd overall).

"Sac town baby let's get to work," Abdulla tweeted. 

Chiquita (chiquitae126) Evans became the first woman drafted by the esports league when she went in the fourth round (56th overall) to Warriors Gaming Squad.

"This is history. You bring a lot to this team, can't wait to get to work," tweeted Xavier (Type) Vescovi of Warriors Gaming Squad.

Evans was one of two women eligible for the draft.

There were six Canadians among the 198 gamers eligible for the four-round draft featuring 21 teams. In all, there were 22 international players from Canada, Australia, China, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Philippines, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Other Canadians available were Ryan (Devillon) De Villon of Toronto, Thomas (Speedbrook) Genay of Calgary, Dawnell (FreshNation514), Marc-Lerouge of Montreal and Joshua (Jsoooch) Suchall of Toronto.

With the addition of four expansion teams (Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves), 126 players will compete in the NBA 2K League's second season, which opens April 2.

During the off-season, 52 players from the inaugural season were retained or selected in the expansion draft, leaving 74 roster spots available. The 198 draft-eligible pool consist of 144 new players selected by the league following an extensive tryout process, six players from the league's first-ever APAC Invitational that took place in Hong Kong in early February and 48 unretained players from the inaugural season.

Knicks Gaming defeated Heat Check Gaming 2-0 in the NBA 2K League finals last August to become the inaugural NBA 2K League champions.


The Canadian Press

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