We are well acquainted with the exploits of Australians in the NBA, but one of the lesser-known players who seems to be on the verge of securing a more stable job in the NBA is Columbia, South Carolina native Torrey Craig.
Craig was one of the feel-good stories around the 2017 – 2018 Denver Nuggets.
The 27-year-old Craig was a nice surprise in Denver. He got into 39 games during the season as a small forward and served his cause quite well.
Craig honed his game in the Aussie league, playing three seasons with the Cairns Taipans, two with the Wellington Saints of the New Zealand NBL, and one with the Brisbane Bullets. Following a brief stint with the Gold Coast Rollers, Craig was recalled to the U.S. in late June of 2017.
He participated in the NBA Summer League and his performance was impressive to the extent that the Denver Nuggets signed him to a two-way contract, meaning that he was available to play for the Nuggets. He spent most of his time in the G League, due to contractual stipulations that limit players on a two-way contract to no more than 45 days with the big NBA team.
His career best in the NBA was a 14-point outing against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the NBL, his statistics were far more impressive.
In 2015, he scored 41 points for the Wellington Saints, one point below the all-time scoring record for the Saints. His play with the Saints earned him the league MVP award. He was instrumental in helping the Saints win the Grand Final.
Playing for the Gold Coast Rollers of the Queensland Basketball League in 2017, he averaged 28.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
Whether or not Craig can build on his southern hemisphere proving grounds to gain a solid foothold in the NBA remains to be seen, but if he can, much credit will go to his seasoning in Australia and New Zealand.