The youngest player in the NBA made a splash last during his first professional game on Canadian soil against his hometown Toronto Raptors.
Born in Mississauga, Joshua Primo — who just turned 19 years old on Christmas Eve — scored a career-high 15 points for the San Antonio Spurs.
And although the Raptors would end up rinsing the Spurs 129 to 104, the Canadian rookie took time before and after the game to acknowledge his Toronto roots.
“We’re back in the city. I mean, where I grew up,” Primo said in a video posted to Twitter by the Spurs before the matchup. “It’s great being back. I missed it a lot. I’m just ready to play in a place I’ve played a bunch, but, it’s
going to feel different this time knowing that I’m in the NBA now.”
Selected 12th overall in the 2021 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs, Primo has played minutes for both that team and the NBA G League’s Austin Spurs in recent months.
Before that, Primo said he grew up like most other young Canadians who dream of a career in the NBA, idolizing some of the greatest Raptors of all time, including Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, and DeMar DeRozan.
“They’ve paved the way for a lot of guys like me,” Primo said.
The homecoming is a little bittersweet though as current COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario mean that there were no fans in the stands during Tuesday night’s ball game. However, if there had been, Primo said he would’ve expected “hundreds” of friends and family in attendance.
Roughly 20 people closest to Primo were still able to catch the rookie’s Canadian debut from the friends and family section at Scotiabank Arena.
“It’s amazing to come back after all that’s happened in the last nine months or so and just be able to reconnect with family, reconnect with old friends and things like that. It’s a warm feeling,” Primo said.
The Spurs are set to play the Raptors again in Texas on March.
In the meantime, Primo revealed that he is in regular contact with Raptors and Canadian Men’s Basketball Team Coach Nick Nurse about possibly playing for the national team and that representing Canada on the world stage is one of his “biggest goals.”