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Dieng to Start NBA Career in OKC

Ousmane Dieng will begin his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside fellow NBL Next Star alumni Josh Giddey.

Dieng has become the latest NBL 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.

"I'm just excited to be part of the NBA. OKC is a young team," Dieng said.

"I will improve on my decision making because everything is faster in the NBA, and probably keep improving my shot."

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, Hampton, Giddey, Brian Bowen Jr and Didi Louzada.

One of the most tantalising and promising prospects in the draft, Dieng saw his NBA stocks rise after a strong season with the New Zealand Breakers.

He scored in double figures in his last four games, while constantly showcasing his athleticism, ball handling and major promise as a difference maker on the defensive end.

Dieng averaged 13.3 points and 4.0 rebounds and shot 51.4% from the field over his last 11 games.

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