DeMar Darnell DeRozan is an American professional basketball player, who is presently the ‘Shooting Guard’ for the ‘San Antonio Spurs’ in the ‘National Basketball Association’ (NBA). He practiced basketball with his father since his childhood and was a known young talent during his school years. He was ranked as a top college recruit in his senior year, when he won the ‘McDonald’s High School All-American’ and was named ‘Pac-10 Tournament MVP.’ He chose the ‘University of Southern California’ and played for the ‘USC Trojans.’ Later he gave up his 3 years of eligibility at the ‘USC’ to enter the ‘NBA Draft 2009.’ He was chosen ninth overall by the ‘Toronto Raptors.’ He was a member of the US national team during the ‘2014 World Cup’ and the 2016 Olympics. DeRozan was named four times to the ‘NBA All-Star Team’ and twice he was a member of ‘All-NBA Team.’ He played with the ‘Toronto Raptors’ for nine seasons, after which he was traded to the ‘San Antonio Spurs’ in 2018.
Childhood & Early Life
DeRozan was born on August 7, 1989, in Compton, California, to Frank and Diane DeRozan. He has an elder half-brother, Jermaine. His father was a linebacker with a Louisiana team during his young days. DeRozan started playing basketball with his father at the age of 5. His father, Frank, was a videographer and mother, Diane, worked at a thermostat factory. During his growing up years, his mother was diagnosed with Lupus, an auto-immune disease.
He studied at ‘Compton High School.’ With his father’s training, he quickly became a promising basketball talent. When he reached the 9th grade, other Compton schools tried to get him on their roster, but he continued with his school. With a score of 26 points average as a freshman, he helped his school get their first playoff berth.
DeRozan grew up in a neighborhood infested with criminals; he lost two uncles to shootouts, even though they were not involved in gangs.
During his senior year at the high school, he ranked among the top college recruits from the class of 2008. He led his school to the ‘Moore League Championship’ and received the ‘Moore League MVP’ award. He won the ‘2008 McDonald All-American Slam Dunk Competition’ and also the ‘McDonald’s All-American.’ His senior year accomplishment earned him ‘First Team All-American’ honors and ‘First Team Best in the West’ honors.
He received offers from various universities, and the ‘National Collegiate Athletic Association’ (NCAA) was interested in signing him. DeRozan signed the ‘Letter of Intent’ to play basketball at the ‘University of Southern California’ (USC.) He chose the USC over universities of Arizona and North Carolina.
At the university, his average was 13.9 points and he worked to develop his midrange shot. Scoring a career high 22 points, he led the ‘USC Trojans’ to victory against the ‘Arizona State Univ.’ in ‘Pac-10 Tournament’ finals and won ‘First Team Pac-10 All-Freshman’ honors as well as was named the ‘Pac-10 Tournament MVP.’ (‘USC Trojans’ entered ‘2009 NCAA Men’s Division 1’ but lost in the 2nd round).
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DeRozan chose to give up his 3 years of eligibility at the USC and in April, 2009, he decided to enter the ‘2009 NBA Draft.’ He was selected 9th overall by the ‘Toronto Raptors’ in June 2009. His decision to choose professional career was partly because of his mother’s health, as he wished to take better care of her.
In 2010 and 2011, he was selected for ‘Sprite Slam Dunk ‘competition, but he did not achieve the top place. In 2014, his scores reached a high at 40 points against ‘Dallas Mavericks.’ He was selected for ‘2014 NBA All-Star Game’ as a reserve guard for ‘Eastern Conference All-Star Team.’ In March 2014, he helped the ‘Toronto Raptors’ win over ‘Boston Celtics’ and seal a playoff berth.
In the 2013-2014 season the ‘Toronto Raptors,’ assisted by DeRozan, achieved third seed in ‘Eastern Conference’ with a 48-34 record. During the playoffs, he became the first ‘Raptors’ to score 30 points in each of back-to-back playoff games.
During the 2014-2015 season, he suffered a torn left adductor longus tendon, in November 2014, and could return to the game only in January 2015. He kept scoring career high points and in April he was named the ‘Eastern Conference Player of the Month.’
During the 2015-2016 season, he was named the ‘Eastern Conference Player of the Week’ in December 2015, and in January 2016, he was chosen for ‘2016 NBA All-Star Game’ as the ‘Eastern conference All-Star’ reserve. In February he recorded his 233rd career win, surpassing previous records to become the ‘winningest’ player in the ‘Toronto Raptors’ history.
In July 2016, he renewed his contract with the ‘Raptors.’ In November 2016, he became the first NBA player (since Michael Jordan) to score 30-points or more in nine out of season’s first 11 games. In December 2016, he broke ‘Toronto Raptor’s’ previous records to become their career scoring leader with total of 10, 290 points. In January 2017, he was named a starter on the ‘Eastern Conference All-Star Team’ for the ‘2017 NBA All-Star Team.’ He missed the next 7 games due to a sprained ankle.
DeRozan completed the 2016-2017 season with a career high 2,020 points and became second player in the team’s history to score more than 2,000 points in a single season. He helped the team reach number 3 seed in the ‘Eastern Conference.’ He was a part of the playoff games of that season and was named for the first time in his career in the ‘All-NBA Third Team.’
In January 2018, he set a franchise record by scoring 52 points in a single game. For the second successive season, in January 2018, he was named as an ‘NBA All-Star’ starter, which became his fourth overall selection to the game. In February 2018, he was chosen the ‘Eastern Conference Player’ for January month. He scored for his team in the playoff series and was selected to the ‘All-NBA Second Team.’
After playing 9 seasons for the ‘Toronto Raptors,’ he and another player, Jakob Pöltl, were traded in July 2018 to ‘San Antonio Spurs’ in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
DeRozan played for the US national team that won a gold medal in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Awards & Achievements
For two consecutive years, 2006 and 2007, DeRozan was named for ‘All-Moore League First Team.’ In 2008, he made it to ‘McDonald’s High School All-American.’ He won ‘Pac-10 Tournament Champion’ and ‘Pac-10 Tournament MVP’ in 2009. In 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018, he was named to the ‘NBA All-Star Team’ and was also a member of ‘All-NBA Team’ in the years 2017 and 2018. DeRozan was a part of the ‘US National Team’ that won gold medals at ‘FIBA World Cup’ in 2014, and the Rio Olympics, in 2016.
DeRozan and his partner Kiara Morrison have two daughters, Diar (born 2013), and Mari (born 2016). He suffers from depression and feels that there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to it.