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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Former Gonzaga big Kyle Wiltjer signs with Toronto Raptors

Aug. 15, 2017 Updated Tue., Aug. 15, 2017 at 7:13 p.m.

Houston’s Kyle Wiltjer dribbles against Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell in an October game. (LM OTERO / Associated Press)
Houston’s Kyle Wiltjer dribbles against Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell in an October game. (LM OTERO / Associated Press)

Former Gonzaga Bulldog Kyle Wiltjer is heading to training camp with the Toronto Raptors.

The NBA team announced Wiltjer’s signing. He agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million non-guaranteed contract, Dime Magazine reported. The 6-foot-10 forward will compete for one of 15 roster spots.

Wiltjer, who has dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, played for Canada in the 2015 Pan Am Games and in the 2011 Nike Hoops Summit. Wiltjer’s father, Greg, played on Canadian national teams.

“I’m just really excited to be back in Toronto and Canada,” Wiltjer told the magazine. “I’ve been working really hard all summer long to get better in all facets of my game and I’m just happy that I’ll be in my home nation.”

Wiltjer split time in his rookie season between the Houston Rockets and D-League Rio Grande Valley. He played 44 minutes in 14 games with the Rockets. He averaged 20.5 points in 22 games with the Vipers, who lost in the D-League finals to Toronto’s Raptors 905.

Wiltjer was one of seven Rockets sent to the Los Angeles Clippers in the trade for Chris Paul. Wiltjer saw limited time with the Clippers in the NBA summer league and was waived in mid-July.

“I was really down after it happened because I thought Houston was a great spot for me,” Wiltjer said of the trade. “It really showed me that anything can happen and you have to always be prepared to move.”

Wiltjer said he faces an “uphill battle” to secure a roster spot but he beat the odds by making the Rockets a year ago. He averaged 18.6 points in two seasons with the Zags after transferring from Kentucky.

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