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Baer Raptors

Former Bettendorf High School and University of Iowa player Nicholas Baer has signed with Raptors 905 of the NBA's G League.

Nicholas Baer said all along that he wanted to try to play professional basketball in a foreign country.

But the former Bettendorf High School and University of Iowa star probably never envisioned that the country would be Canada.

That’s what has happened as Baer signed to play for the Toronto Raptors’ team in the NBA’s G League.

“Ready to roll with @Raptors905 this season,’’ Baer announced on Twitter on Wednesday.

The Raptors’ team in the developmental league is called Raptors 905 and it plays its home games in Mississauga, Ontario.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, like almost everyone else, assumed Baer would further his basketball career in Europe or Asia or some other distant continent. But he said the Raptors really “targeted’’ the hustling 6-foot-7 forward.

“They really wanted him,’’ McCaffery said. “They watched him play. I honestly thought he would end up overseas and I thought he'd be great overseas, but he found an opportunity.

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“They invited him out and met with him and then invited him back and wanted to sign him, and he was thrilled with that opportunity. He's going to do it. I think he'll be great.’’

Baer played 14 minutes for Raptors 905 in their only preseason game Tuesday night against the Erie Bayhawks, playing 14 minutes and collecting two points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot.

The team opens the regular season Friday night with a home game against the Detroit Pistons’ affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, at Paramount Fine Foods Centre.

Baer began his career at Iowa as a walk-on and worked his way into being a major contributor. He was named the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year for the 2016-17 season and earned the program’s coveted Chris Street Award last season.

He played in 129 games in his career, including 32 starts, and was the only Iowa player ever to amass more than 750 points, 500 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 steals, 100 blocks, and 100 3-point field goals.

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