TORONTO (FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017) - Toronto gets most of the publicity when it comes to producing talent in Canada. But Luguentz Dort hopes his strong play this season earns him a spot at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017 - and gives his home city of Montreal a fair share of attention as well.
Dort has garnered some major attention after a strong performance this past high school season at Conrad Academy in Orlando, Florida. He said the list of colleges interested in him includes major programs such as Florida, Baylor, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona State, UNLV and Missouri. He still has one more year of high school and his name is rising up talent charts.
"I learned to be ready to play against anybody even if you come late," Dort said. "You always have to be ready to play and willing to help the others, whatever that is, energy or what not."
Just three days later, Dort showcased his full game as he collected 30 points - including three of six three-pointers - to go with three assists and two rebounds in taking MVP honors at the 2017 BioSteel All-Canadian Game in Toronto - the third edition of the showcase event.
Dort’s big game came with Canada U19 national team coach Roy Rana in the building as a spectator. Rana was the World Select Team head coach at the Hoop Summit, who picked Dort to come to the game in Portland.
Dort has never played for Canada but he is raring to go for the land of the Maple Leaf in Cairo, where Canada are drawn into Group C with Japan, Mali and Spain.
"We all like to compete. Nobody knows about that. But we all like to compete and play hard against anybody. That’s why I like Montreal basketball."Luguentz Dort
"I will try to make the team and see how it goes. I think we are going to Egypt so I think it’s going to be a pretty good summer," Dort said. "Not a lot of people from Montreal play for team Canada so it would mean a lot."
Dort follows in the Montreal footsteps of Bill Wennington, Joel Anthony, Kris Joseph, Khem Birch and Chris Boucher.
When asked about basketball in Montreal, Dort said: "We all like to compete. Nobody knows about that. But we all like to compete and play hard against anybody. That’s why I like Montreal basketball."
Dort has an additional edge to himself and his game - namely having been born to two Haitian parents, who were born in Haiti and came to Canada when they were 21 years old.
"I was born and raised in Canada. I still have a lot of family in Haiti, Miami and Montreal," Dort said. "(Haiti) is a small country, man. We’re some fighters. There are a lot of problems in the country, but we keep fighting and stay us, stay Haitian and are proud to be Haitian."
With his loud game, Dort is also trying to help give Montreal a bigger spot on the basketball landscape.