Hungry Jack's NBL
Josh Giddey to Become NBL Next Star with Adelaide 36ers
Exciting young Australian NBA prospect Josh Giddey has signed with the Adelaide 36ers as part of the NBL’s Next Stars program.
The 17 year-old, who has been touted as a potential first round pick for the 2021 NBA Draft, will play for the 36ers in the 2020-21 Hungry Jack’s NBL season.
Giddey was the youngest Australian to debut for the Boomers since Ben Simmons when he lined up against Hong Kong last month.
He is the first Australian player to be part of the Next Stars program which contracts NBA draft eligible players and develops them in Australia with a view to fast tracking their readiness for the NBA.
It’s already produced one NBA player in Brian Bowen Jnr who played for the Sydney Kings in the 2018-19 NBL season before signing with the Indiana Pacers. He was in the Pacers’ starting five against the Chicago Bulls last weekend.
LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks) and RJ Hampton (SKY Sport New Zealand Breakers) are also expected to be selected in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft.
Terrance Ferguson, who played for Adelaide in 2016-17 after electing to bypass college, was drafted at pick 21 by Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2017 NBA Draft.
NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: “Australia has some of the best young basketball talent in the world. It’s always been our intention to include local players in the Next Stars program and we are delighted to announce Josh as the first.
“It’s critical that the NBL develops local talent and helps put Australian players on the radar of NBA scouts. We wish Josh every success and look forward to making more exciting announcements about other Next Stars players soon.”
Adelaide 36ers owner Grant Kelly said: “Josh is arguably the best young basketball talent in the nation and we’re thrilled for him to choose to start his professional career at the Adelaide 36ers.”
Giddey, the son of former Melbourne Tiger great Warrick Giddey, is currently based at the NBA Global Academy in Canberra. He played for the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence team in the 2019 NBL1 season and represented Australia at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp at the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago
Giddey said: “I’m thrilled to have signed my first professional contract with the Adelaide 36ers. Obviously the NBA is my goal and I believe that playing in the NBL is the best pathway for me to get there.”