Hungry Jack's NBL
3 NBL Players Selected in NBA Draft
The NBLxNBA pathway grew stronger today, with three players selected in the draft - Ousmane Dieng, Luke Travers and Hugo Besson.
Dieng will begin his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, alongside fellow NBL Next Star alumni, Josh Giddey.
Dieng has become the latest Next Star to make the NBA, after being selected by the New York Knicks with the 11th pick in the Draft. He was then traded to the Thunder after being selected.
Dieng becomes the third player in three successive years to be drafted as an NBA lottery pick (the top 14 selections in each draft) from the Next Stars program, joining his new teammate Giddey (2021, pick 6), and Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball (2020, pick 3).
He is the sixth Next Star to progress to an NBA roster, joining Ball, Giddey, RJ Hampton, Brian Bowen Jr and Didi Louzada.
Dieng scored in double figures in his last four games with the New Zealand Breakers, including a career high 22 points against South East Melbourne in round 19. He also constantly showcased his athleticism, ball handling and major promise as a difference maker on the defensive end.
Perth Wildcats youngster Luke Travers’ NBA dream became a reality when he was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 56th pick.
The 20-year-old has played three seasons with the Wildcats, developing into one of the most enticing prospects in Australia. Travers averaged 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season, while displaying his versatility, athleticism, and basketball smarts.
New Zealand Breakers import Hugo Besson was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana) with the 58th pick. The Frenchman displayed his explosive scoring ability throughout the NBL season, including a 17-point third quarter outburst against Perth in March.
“The entire NBL family congratulates Ousmane Dieng, Luke Travers and Hugo Besson for achieving their NBA dreams today,” Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said.
“Ousmane is an incredibly gifted talent and his game progressed tremendously during the NBL season. He also holds himself to an extremely professional standard off the court and has a high character. It was a pleasure having him apart of the Next Stars program and we look forward to watching his career flourish with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Luke’s story is an inspiring one and all Australian basketball fans should be extremely proud of his achievements. Starting as a development player with the Wildcats in 2019, Luke’s progression in the NBL has been incredible. He has grown immensely as a player and is a first-class person. With his trademark mullet, Luke is sure to turn some heads in Cleveland.
“Hugo was a real surprise packet, more often than not having an immediate impact on the scoreboard when injected into a game with his eye-catching scoring ability. He grew into an influential difference maker for the Breakers this season and we have no doubt he will be able to make an instant impact with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Today’s draft is another indication of the strong pathway the NBL has created to the NBA. Along with Ousmane, Luke and Hugo, a large contingent of NBL players are set to be signed to NBA Summer League contracts in the coming days, and we wish them all the best of luck in their journey.”