Burlington Baller Mfiondu Kabengele drafted in first round

Burlington’s Mfiondu Kabengele was the last of a record four Canadians taken in the first round of the NBA draft.Kabengele was selected 27th by the Brooklyn Nets but was traded soon after to the Los Angeles Clippers. That should be a positive for Kabengele, he will get to pair up with Hamilton native and rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.It was a meteoric rise for Kabengele who didn’t play basketball seriously before he was discovered during an elementary school track meet at Sherwood park in Burlington. International Basketball and Sports Academy coach and Dundas-native Barry Mungar who was an NBA draft pick and played for team Canada at the 1988 Olympics helped develop Kabengele.“When he hit his growth spurt, he took off like a rocket,” said Mungar. “He went from six-foot-three to six-foot-nine in a relatively short period of time and that was kind of what put him over the top.”Kabengele won the Ontario Basketball Association Championships with the Hamilton Wildcats and a Catholic Cup title with Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary school. After that, Kabengele went to prep school in Chicago and earned an NCAA scholarship to Florida State University.“It feels amazing,” said Kabengele. “You work your whole life for this and have my family and friends and everybody watching at home supporting me. I’m just very grateful.”One key person who is supporting Kabengele is NBA hall-of-famer Dikembe Mutombo, his uncle.

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