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Khem Birch facts for kids

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Khem Birch
Free agent
Center / Power forward
Personal information
Born September 28, 1992 (1992-09-28) (age 28)
Montreal, Quebec
Nationality Canadian
High school
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 233 lb (106 kg)
Career information
College
  • Pittsburgh (2011–2012)
  • UNLV (2012–2014)
NBA Draft 2014 / Undrafted
Pro career 2014–present
Career history
2014–2015 Sioux Falls Skyforce
2015–2016 Uşak Sportif
2016–2017 Olympiacos
2017–2021 Orlando Magic
2017–2018 →Lakeland Magic
2021 Toronto Raptors
Career highlights and awards
  • BSL All-Star (2016)
  • NBA D-League All-Rookie First Team (2015)
  • NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team (2015)
  • NBA D-League All-Star (2015)
  • MWC Defensive Player of the Year (2013, 2014)
  • Second-team All-MWC (2014)
  • 2× MWC All-Defensive Team (2013, 2014)
  • McDonald's All-American (2011)

Khem Xavier Birch (born September 28, 1992) is a Canadian professional basketball player who last played for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Pittsburgh Panthers and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels.

High school career

Birch played varsity basketball for St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School in Russell, Ontario before playing out the remainder of his high school career at The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Massachusetts & Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

College career

In 2011–12, Birch played college basketball at the University of Pittsburgh, with the Pittsburgh Panthers. He then, in 2012, transferred to UNLV, where he played with the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. As a junior, in the 2013–14 season, he averaged 10.2 rebounds per game, which was the third highest in the Mountain West Conference, while also averaging 3.8 blocks per game, which was the second highest in the Mountain West Conference. During his college career, he averaged 8.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists in 25.4 minutes per game in 69 games.

In April 2014, he entered the NBA draft, foregoing his final year of college eligibility.

Professional career

Sioux Falls Skyforce (2014–2015)

After going undrafted in the 2014 NBA draft, Birch joined the Washington Wizards for the 2014 NBA Summer League. On September 14, 2014, he signed with his first NBA team, the Miami Heat. However, he was later waived by the Heat on October 25, 2014. On November 3, 2014, he was acquired by the Sioux Falls Skyforce, as an affiliate player. On February 4, 2015, he was named to the Futures All-Star team for the 2015 NBA D-League All-Star Game. In the 2014–15 NBD-D League season, he averaged 11.1 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, 1.8 blocks per game, and 0.7 steals per game, in 52 games played.

Uşak Sportif (2015–2016)

On June 30, 2015, Birch signed to play in Turkey, with Uşak Sportif of the Turkish Super League (BSL). The following month, he joined the Brooklyn Nets for the 2015 Orlando Summer League and the New Orleans Pelicans for the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League. He went on to play with Uşak during the 2015–16 season, and he averaged 27.0 minutes, 10.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 0.5 steals per game, in 32 games played in the Turkish Super League 2015–16 season.

Olympiacos (2016–2017)

On June 14, 2016, Birch signed to play in Greece, on a 2-year 1.1 million net income contract, with the defending Greek Basket League champions, Olympiacos. With Olympiacos, he averaged 15.7 minutes, 5.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.8 blocks, and 0.6 steals per game, in 33 games played in the Greek Basket League 2016–17 season. He also averaged 18.1 minutes, 7.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 0.5 steals per game, in 37 games played in the EuroLeague 2016–17 season.

On July 10, 2017, Birch opted out of his contract with Olympiacos, in order to sign in the NBA.

Orlando Magic (2017–2021)

On July 27, 2017, Birch signed with the Orlando Magic.

On March 14, 2019, Birch recorded a double-double, tying his career-high with 13 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, and two steals in a 120–91 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On July 10, 2019, Birch re-signed with the Magic on a 2-year contract.

On March 26, 2021, Birch had his best game of his career when he netted new career-highs with 14 points, 15 rebounds and four steals with four assists and two blocks in a 112–105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

On April 8, 2021, Birch was waived by the Magic.

Toronto Raptors (2021–present)

On April 10, 2021, Birch signed with the Toronto Raptors. On April 11, 2021, Birch made his debut with the Raptors, getting four points and five rebounds in 18 minutes of action during a 102–96 loss to the New York Knicks. On April 14, 2021, Birch tied his career-high with 14 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks in a 117–112 win against the San Antonio Spurs. On April 26, 2021, Birch ties his career-high again with 14 points, six rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks in a 112–96 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The next day, Birch had his first double-double with the Raptors, getting 13 points and 14 rebounds, nine which were offensive rebounds, in a 116–103 loss against the Brooklyn Nets. On April 29, 2021, Birch scored a career-high 20 points, making a career-high two three-pointers while adding nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in a 121–111 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Canadian national team

Birch was a member of the junior national teams of Canada. With Canada's Under-18 junior national team, he played at the 2010 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship, where he won a bronze medal. He is also a member of the senior men's Canadian national team. With Canada's senior national team, he played at the 2016 Manila FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017–18 Orlando 42 0 13.8 .540 .689 4.3 .8 .4 .5 4.2
2018–19 Orlando 50 1 12.9 .603 .000 .699 3.8 .8 .4 .6 4.8
2019–20 Orlando 48 24 19.2 .510 .000 .653 4.6 1.0 .4 .5 4.4
2020–21 Orlando 48 5 19.8 .450 .190 .741 5.1 1.1 .7 .6 5.3
2020–21 Toronto 19 17 30.4 .556 .290 .636 7.6 1.9 .8 1.2 11.9
Career 207 47 17.7 .526 .241 .687 4.7 1.0 .5 .6 5.4

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2018–19 Orlando 5 0 18.4 .556 .857 6.2 .8 .2 1.0 5.2
2019–20 Orlando 5 0 17.8 .500 .909 5.0 1.4 .2 .0 4.8
Career 10 0 18.1 .531 .889 5.6 1.1 .2 .5 5.0

EuroLeague

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2016–17 Olympiacos 37 21 18.1 .624 .643 5.6 .3 .5 1.0 7.3 10.8
Career 37 21 18.1 .624 .643 5.6 .3 .5 1.0 7.3 10.8

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2011–12 Pittsburgh 10 6 15.0 .571 .545 5.0 .0 .2 1.9 4.4
2012–13 UNLV 26 15 21.8 .563 .642 5.7 .6 .7 2.6 7.2
2013–14 UNLV 33 32 31.4 .510 .693 10.2 1.2 .6 3.8 11.5
Career 69 53 25.4 .531 .668 7.8 .8 .6 3.1 8.9

Personal life

Birch was born in Montreal on September 28, 1992, to Wendy Sparks and Dervincent Birch & has three brothers. He later attended high school at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School in Russell, Ontario. Birch grew up a fan of the Toronto Raptors watching their games on television and even driving five hours with his father to Toronto to watch a live game at the Air Canada Centre.

Since 2018, Birch has been married to Elina Zoitakis, from Greece, and they have a daughter, Ariadne Sofia, born in January 2019.

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