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DeMar DeRozan on cover of inaugural Canada-released NBA 2K18


DeMar DeRozan is a player of the Toronto Raptors and arguably the face of professional basketball in Canada, so it's obviously that he would be the first to be on the cover representing the country of the NBA 2K video game franchise.

DeRozan, a man earned a three-time All-Star shooting guard in his entire NBA career for the Raptors, will be the inaugural Canada-release cover athlete for NBA 2K18, which is planed to launch on Sept. 19, for several platforms such as PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC platforms.

"Growing up as a kid I dreamed of being in a video game and now I'm on the cover," DeRozan told USA TODAY Sports. "I didn't believe it. It took a while for me to really digest it. Looking at it now and seeing the pictures, I'm excited for it to come out. It's definitely an honor."

Although DeRozan wasn't a Canadians, he was born and raised in Compton, Calif., one thing happend to change his life, though. He has turned into an adoptive Canadian since being selected No. 9 overall by the Raptors in the 2009 draft. He put his efforts to help the Raptors became a prominent Eastern Conference contender who have made four consecutive playoff appearances including three Atlantic Division crowns.

DeRozan is the franchise leader in games played (595), minutes played (20,275) and points scored (11,456). He is having his best season so far, ranking fifth in the NBA in points per game at 27.3. DeRozan has experienced the Toronto's highest highs and lowest lows, and despite not being a born Canadian, he said it was his greate honor to represent the entire country on the NBA 2K18 cover.

DeRozan said during his free time, such as during the regular season and on the road, he used to play video games with friends, family and teammates. Playing video gamen apparently can unite a team, and there will be even more incentive to play now that he's on the cover.

You can see DeRozan in Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (Standard Edition) and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal (Legend Edition) as announced cover athletes for the next version of the NBA 2K franchise, which debuted in 1999.

According to a release, for Canadian fans, who pre-order NBA 2K18 at participating retails and online vendors can play Early Tip-Off Access for the game, which make sure "they receive their copy and in-game bonuses four days early beginning on Sept. 15.”