The first offseason of Bruno Caboclo’s professional career has been a busy one. Back in Toronto after stints in Vancouver and Las Vegas for workouts and basketball camps, Caboclo is serving as a guest counselor at the Americas Team Camp being held at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Center.
Hosting the best young basketball players from Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada, the camp counted Caboclo as a participant only a year ago. The rookie isn’t the only representative present from the Raptors organization. Assistant coach Jama Mahlalela and development consultant/community ambassador Jamaal Magloire were also on hand serving as coaches.
In addition to delivering a morning coaching session to the many coaches on hand to learn from the camp, Mahlalela put Caboclo through a workout that had younger campers gathering around the court to watch. Referring to the success first-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan found in his fifth NBA season, Mahlalela credited the work ethic he has had since the first day he showed up in Toronto.
“Seeing DeMar, working with him for so many years and now he’s an All-Star it’s like you’re a part of that,” Mahlalela said. “It’s such an amazing thing, to see a kid, as they come in as a kid and they grow up into a responsible young man, basketball player.”
Two months into working with Caboclo, Mahlalela see s the same dedication to getting better.
“Oh it’s exceptional,” he said. “This next season is going to be great because his learning curve is going to go up, it’s great. Every day this summer he’s gotten better. Pre-season and [regular] season, he’s going to get better every single day. He’s a sponge. He loves basketball. I can’t get him off the basketball court, which is good, such an amazing quality to have. He loves to work. It’s perfect.”
After Las Vegas Summer League, Caboclo headed to Vancouver to work out with Raptors training staff members, Lucas Nogueira and DeAndre Daniels. In between Vancouver and Toronto he headed back to Vegas to attend Tim Grgurich’s camp. Since being drafted in June, his English has improved and he is starting to become comfortable speaking with media. Saying the language barrier is what makes it difficult, Caboclo said he loves Toronto and wants fans to know he is very excited to be here and is a happy person who is also a little shy.
Keep Calm And Eat Pasta
While Caboclo’s potential is exciting for all of the coaching staff, what sticks out to Mahlalela is the character he has seen from the 18-year-old.
“He’s an exceptional human being,” Mahlalela said. “Forget basketball player. To go through what he’s gone through, moving where he lived in Brazil to suddenly come to North America, be here this entire summer, Vancouver, New York, [Houston], Las Vegas, Rookie Transition Program, Tim Grgurich’s camp, [meet] all of our staff, media interviews, to be able to transition that and have a good calm head on his shoulders and smile his way through tells me he’s an amazing person.”
Caboclo could only smile as his coach praised him. He said he is focusing on trying to get stronger and that he’s eating 6,000 calories per day with lots of pasta included in his diet. Still waiting for the chance to get to spend some down time in Toronto after a whirlwind summer, the rookie is looking forward to learning more about his new city.
While Caboclo is already dreaming of one day winning a championship with the Raptors, his goal for this season is a simple one: “Help the team win.”