Before Torrey Craig broke out onto the scene as a two-way player with the Denver Nuggets during the 2017-18 season, he established himself as an elite defensive player in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL).
After graduating from South Carolina Upstate in 2014 with no invitations to Summer League, Craig ventured to Australia, where he developed his defensive abilities and toughness.
Craig won the NBL’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017 and after three seasons, finally received an offer to join Denver’s Summer League squad in 2017. The rest is history, as Craig impressed with his defense and energy and has been a staple in the Nuggets rotation over the past two seasons, which included 11 key starts during the 2019 playoffs.
Given his connection to the country, Craig was distraught to see Australia’s wildlife suffer and decided to help the cause through donations.
“It (Australia) means a lot,” Craig said following Denver’s win over the LA Clippers. “I was down there for three years and it definitely made me a tougher competitor and a more physical player. I genuinely care about the country and I was devastated knowing that lives were lost, including all the animals and homes.”
Craig went on to explain how his relationship with the NBL allowed him to get involved with the situation.
“I reached out to the president of the NBL,” Craig said. “Me and him were really close during my process coming back to the NBA. He has a Red Cross foundation set up to donate and I’ve sent some stuff over there for him to donate. Every little thing I can do to help.”
As Craig’s NBA career has developed and he continues to focus on his contributions to the Nuggets, he certainly hasn’t forgotten where he came from.