The Emergence of Chris Boucher and What it Means for the Raptors

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Oct 10, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) reacts with former Canadian Cabinet member Michael Fortier after scoring a three pointer against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Boucher has overcome a lot to get to where he is today. The 25-year-old forward for the Toronto Raptors was born in Saint Lucia but moved to Montreal, Canada, when he was young. After living in poverty for his entire childhood in Montreal, Boucher eventually dropped out of high school. At 19, he was working as a dishwasher and sometimes sleeping on buses, when he was approached by Alma Academy coach and founder, Igor Rwigema. 

Rwigema and his brother saw Boucher playing at a men’s league tournament, and began recruiting him right away. At that time, Chris Boucher had only been playing basketball for a year — he was an absolute natural. 

After playing with Alma for a year, Boucher played for two different junior colleges in the USA for a year each, before eventually committing to play with the University of Oregon, where he played out his college years. 

Boucher tore his ACL towards the end of his senior season, and he went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, despite averaging 11.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game as a senior. He was picked up by the Golden State Warriors to play for their G-League team on a two-way contract. 

Although he performed well for the Santa Cruz Warriors and was eventually called up to play with the champions themselves, Boucher was released after the conclusion of the season.

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He was picked up by his (kind of) hometown team, the Toronto Raptors, in October, signing yet another two-way deal. With the Raptors’ G-League affiliate, Raptors905, Chris Boucher has performed well, to say the least. That’s to the tune of 29.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per game. Yes, you read that correctly: 4.6 blocks per game. Those numbers are good for G-League MVP if they continue, and a guaranteed spot on the Raptors next year or later in this season. 

With the Raptors, Boucher has played in just five games, but has shown flashes in those games, utilizing his length to defend effectively, and his smooth three-point stroke to knock down a pair of deep shots. Against Indiana on Wednesday, with both Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka out, the Raptors called Boucher’s number, and he didn’t disappoint, scoring 5 points and grabbing 2 boards in 10 minutes of play. 

Expect to see more of Chris Boucher with the Raptors in the months to come, and don’t be at all surprised if he continues to dominate the G-League this season and, along with Jordan Loyd, leads the 905 to their second G-League championship in three years, becoming the G-League MVP along the way. 

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