Two NBA players from Montreal North receive National Assembly medals of honour.
MONTREAL – A very special start to the school year awaited young basketball players from Calixa-Lavallée and Henri-Bourassa high schools in Montreal-North on Friday noon. They were gathered in the auditorium of Calixa-Lavallée school to honor the stars of the NBA Chris Boucher and Luguentz Dort, who received a medal of honor from the National Assembly of Quebec, from the hands of the member for Bourassa -Saved, Paule Robitaille.
This distinction is given to public figures whose achievements deserve the recognition of Quebecers.
Dort, who attended this school in the Montreal-North district where he grew up for two years, returns this time through the front door. The Oklahoma City Thunder player and his colleague from the Toronto Raptors were greeted as heroes in front of families and elected officials including MP Emmanuel Dubourg and borough mayor Christine Black.
“We want to celebrate the determination, discipline and perseverance you have shown. We look at you and we tell ourselves that there is nothing impossible, said Ms. Robitaille. The impact you have on our community and on our young people is incredible, and that is why you are awarded the Medal of the National Assembly. “
The provincial deputy also underlined the extraordinary efforts made over the years to reach the professional level.
The two athletes were visibly touched by this mark of recognition.
“When I was in Calixa-Lavallé, I never thought I would be here today,” Dort said of the event.
The latter did not hide his academic difficulties at the start of his secondary school career and wanted to send a strong message to young people: “Continue to work hard, I know it’s not easy to ask. help, but don’t be afraid to do it. There are always going to be people to help you move forward. “
“I want you to know it’s possible. I did it, Luguentz did it, it’s possible! This is my message, ”added Boucher.
A native of the island of Saint Lucia, Chris Boucher grew up in Montreal and started playing basketball rather late, at 18 years old. He developed his skills in the basketball academy led by Igor Rwigema when it was established in Alma, Lac-Saint-Jean.
He then went into exile in the United States to continue his progression until joining the excellent Ducks of the University of Oregon in the first division of the NCAA.
A knee injury in March 2017 ended his last college season abruptly and left NBA teams ignoring him in the draft.
Still, the Golden State Warriors offered him a two-part deal that saw him make his one-game debut in the NBA in 2017-18. Then the Toronto Raptors offered him a chance at training camp and awarded him a two-pronged contract. He won the NBA championship in this team in 2019.
Also ignored in the draft, Dort was born in Montreal-North to parents of Haitian origin.
Playing at full back, Dort joined the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019. He particularly shone in the playoffs against the Houston Rockets in fall 2020.
In that same series, Dort broke the points record for an undrafted rookie in Game 7, with 30 points. In addition, the Montrealer is now the player aged 21 or under who had the most points in a seventh game, ahead of LeBron James’ 27 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Detroit Pistons on May 21, 2006, and Kobe Bryant’s 25 points for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Portland Trail Blazers, June 4, 2000.
This harvest is also the best by a Canadian player in a final game, ahead of Steve Nash’s 29 points for the Phoenix Suns against the Los Angeles Clippers on May 22, 2006.