Jawai makes history with NBA debut

Jawai makes history with NBA debut

Former National Basketball League Rookie of the Year Nathan Jawai made history today when he took the court for the Toronto

Former National Basketball League Rookie of the Year Nathan Jawai made history today when he took the court for the Toronto Raptors in America's NBA.

Jawai, wearing jersey number 21, entered Toronto's match against the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit with three minutes and four seconds remaining in the final period and became the first indigenous Australian to play in the NBA.

He was called for a travelling violation seventeen seconds later and failed to score a point or register a rebound in the final minutes of the match which Detroit won comfortably, 95-76.

Jawai, who hails from Bamaga in Far North Queensland, has endured a frustrating rookie season in America's elite competition after Raptors medical staff discovered an irregularity in his heart during routine cardiac testing.

The 22-year old, 208cm forward was sidelined for the entirety of October's pre-season while further tests were undertaken and the weeks of waiting frustratingly turned into months.

Forty-three (of eighty-two) regular season games passed with Jawai on the sidelines until today's game.

With a 16-28 win-loss record, Toronto sits in last place of the Atlantic Division behind Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York, and is thirteenth of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference.

Jawai, who was selected 41st overall in last year's NBA Draft, may see more court time soon with three Toronto games scheduled this week before the injury-riddled Raptors face Andrew Bogut's Milwaukee Bucks on the last day of the month.

Bogut has missed Milwaukee's last four games with back spasms and is in doubt for Saturday's road match against Atlanta but may return to the lineup on Tuesday against Minnesota.