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Updated: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:15:36 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

2014 NBA draft: A record year for Canadian hopefuls



NBA draft hopeful Melvin Ejim, a 23-year-old from Toronto, has been a star at Iowa State, but many of the scouts aren't convinced of his big-league potential. CBC

NBA draft hopeful Melvin Ejim, a 23-year-old from Toronto, has been a star at Iowa State, but many of the scouts aren't convinced of his big-league potential. CBC

The 2014 NBA draft takes place this Thursday and a record seven Canadians are in the running to be selected, three of them in the first round.

One of the players projected to be in this year’s first round is 20-year-old Tyler Ennis from Brampton, Ont., who is pretty confident about his chances.

“I always knew I was going to make it to the NBA,” he says. “A lot of people told me, you know, it’s not realistic. You've just got to believe, really. There was never really a moment when I said I'm not going to make it to the NBA.”

The reality for many Canadian hopefuls can be harsh. NBA teams only draft 60 players from around the world every year. Of those, only the first 30 will likely get a shot at big money and basketball stardom.

Another Canadian player with draft potential, 23-year-old Melvin Ejim of Toronto, isn’t sure of his fate. He isn’t a first rounder and his name might not get called at all. He was a college star at Iowa State, but many of the big-league scouts aren't convinced.

“I feel so close. I feel that I've done everything possibly that I could do, and I'm so close, I'm looking at it," says Ejim. "Not making it would be tough.”

The CBC’s Nick Purdon spoke to both players about their hoop dreams and the agony and ecstasy of being a potential draft pick.

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