Setbacks and hurdles are no longer alien to Chris Boucher, the Saint Lucian-Canadian professional basketball player with the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). As a matter of fact, he has become accustomed to them and has courageously dealt with every hurdle dealt his way, with the determination of someone way older. He has seen the good, the bad, and the awful which seemingly arose to test his resolve.
Boucher has drawn on his rocky past to help him through every adversity and has become a master at taking the bad things that happen in his life and turning them into positives. Want to know how he did all that? Read on to grab the juicy details about the life of the power forward.
Chris Boucher’s Bio
He is a product of many odds but against it all, he sails effortlessly on the wings of success. From the time he was born on January 11, 1993, in Castries, Saint Lucia to the point he entered into the NBA, his story has been full of twists and turns. However, those have only helped to propel him to where he is now and has formed a strong and firm ground for a great career ahead of him in the league.
He was born to Mary MacVane and a Canadian father, Jean-Guy Boucher. He has two siblings; a younger brother Maxime and sister Christel. Boucher was growing up on the Caribbean Island of Saint Lucian until age five when his mother took him to Montreal to see his father. However, the visit didn’t turn out as anticipated. His parents ended up going their separate ways which further estranged his father from him.
While in Montreal, he lived in a gang-infested neighborhood on the city’s north side and spent his days there playing soccer and ice hockey. Life there was mired in poverty and he had to drop out of Lavoie High School at the age of 16, in 11th grade. He worked in a Saint Hubert rotisserie restaurant as a cook and dishwasher to earn extra money for his family. To pass time and let out his sorrow and worries, he spent his leisure playing basketball in the neighborhood. Life for the young lad was so tumultuous that he didn’t bother making any plans for the future.
Eventually, his skills in dunk paved a way for him when was spotted by coaches, Igor Rwigema and Ibrahim Appiah who were impressed with his height (6’8″ then) and performance in pickup basketball where he scored 44 points in a tournament final. Subsequently, they offered him a spot on AAU team Alma Academy, Quebec. With that spot, Boucher got the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. In time, he attracted the interest of Division 1 college coaches when he recorded 29 points and 12 rebounds in a game against New Jersey’s Blair Academy. At that point, his dream of earning a college degree came into sight.
He left the home he has known for a long time to play one season of collegiate football at New Mexico Junior College wondering if all the dots that brought him to this point would eventually join. There, he averaged 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Afterward, he transferred to Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming where he continued with his standout performance. He was named NJCAA Player of the Year and led the team to a 31–5 record.
Gradually, the sun was beginning to smile on Chris Boucher. After his time in Wyoming, he received offers from several D-1 universities among which are University of Oregon, Texas Christian University, University of Minnesota and Texas Tech. Following a campus visit to Oregon, he chose the school over the others and went on to become one of the most fascinating players in the history of college basketball.
In his freshman year at Oregon, his raw and rail-thin physique was a cause of worry for the coach, Dana Altman. Nevertheless, what he lacked in physique, he made up for in energy and natural ability. Chris Boucher averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in his two-year career with the Ducks. He didn’t know how good he has become in hoops until he was named to the Pac-12 Defensive Team after leading the conference in blocks with 2.6 per game in his senior year. Finally, the dots came together; a future awaited him in pro basketball.
In addition, he graduated with a degree in Sociology in 2017 and dares to dream. He hopes to forge a career as a therapist after his NBA phase to help people who seemingly have the same life he had, find better ways to live.
Here are 5 Facts You Need To Know About Him
1. His Father Thought He Was Worthless
While Boucher was in Montreal, he moved between living with his mother and her boyfriend who didn’t want him around after he turned 15 to put up with his father who thought he was worthless. In his father’s house, the duo often argued over his (Chris) lack of direction. The older Boucher had one regret growing up which was dropping out of school at 14 to work. Thus, he didn’t want his son to tow the same path and his playing basketball further exacerbated the matter.
With his father’s constant reminder that he can mess up his life if he wants, Chris lost every hope he might have had in a bright future and sank deeper into a doubtful existence with his dream of ever accomplishing anything in his life thinning by the day.
Ultimately, Chris was discovered and went away to play and study which his father told him was a chance for him to make his life better. And he did. He not only made his life better but also changed his father’s perspective about basketball.
2. He Almost Did Not Finish College
Chris came from Alma prep school where he was meant to spend three years but ended up spending just one. Armed with dogged determination, he moved from there to New Mexico and eventually landed at Oregon. In Oregon, the question of how long he would play with the Ducks arose, whether he would just be a one year wonder.
According to NCAA eligibility draft, it requires that all prospective intercollegiate athletes supply a timeline accounting for all of their activities prior to college competition. For Boucher, his timeline included a final year of high school as a junior in 2010-11, a year of inactivity in 2011-12, and a year of what would equate to postgraduate study that included 13 games of competition in 2012-13. As a result, the NCAA declared him a senior instead of a junior even though he has played only three years in his college career.
With hope cleaved to a chance not only to extend his eligibility but to also allow him to finish his study and earn a degree which would turn his life around, Oregon filed a waiver on behalf of their unique player, asking the NCAA for another year of eligibility. The NCAA, whose mission statement states that “the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount,” allowed the possibility. He was granted a hardship waiver following the 2015-2016 season to play an extra season and complete his degree.
3. An Injury Reduced His Draftability
During the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals against California on March 11, 2017, an opposing player fell on his leg. An MRI scan later revealed he had a torn ACL which ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Already accustomed to jumping over the hurdles in his path, he was hopeful heading into the draft even though the injury hurt his draft stock. He spent the NCAA Tournament and the run-up to the NBA draft in rehab and ultimately went undrafted.
4. NBA Career
The Golden State Warriors signed him to a two-way contract as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He made his pro debut with the Santa Cruz Warriors, a G League affiliated to the Golden State in November 2017. He played 20 games in Santa Cruz and averaged 11.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. His first NBA game which was his only game with the Golden State Warriors came on March 14, 2018, where he tallied 1 rebound and 1 missed shot in one minute of action. A few months later, in June, the Warriors waived him.
The following month, Chris Boucher signed as a free agent with the Toronto Raptors.
5. Height, Weight
Although Chris Boucher is still lanky, it is no longer an issue as he has shown what he can do with his energy. Chris Boucher stands at 6 feet 11 inches and weighs 200 lb.