Hungry Jack's NBL
Projected 2022 Lottery Pick Ousmane Dieng Becomes NBL Next Star with Breakers
Teenage French phenom Ousmane Dieng will join the Sky Sport New Zealand Breakers as an NBL Next Star for the 2021/22 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season.
Dieng is one of France’s most promising young stars and is ranked at number 11 in ESPN’s 2022 NBA mock draft. The 18-year-old last played for the INSEP Academy, that has produced the likes of Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, where he averaged 12.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in France’s third division which is the premiere breeding ground for young French talent.
At 6’9, Dieng has shown versatility and playmaking skills that allow him to play both guard positions as well as on the wing, most notably impressing NBA scouts at the Adidas Next Generation Tournament up against the top U18 teams from around Europe.
The Frenchman represented his country at the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championships and has been named in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup squad that will take the court in Latvia this July.
Dieng will become the Breakers’ second Next Star in club history after they helped develop Orlando Magic guard RJ Hampton in the 2019/20 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season. Hampton won the NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award in May.
Dieng said: “I’m thrilled to be continuing my career in the NBL with New Zealand. The NBL is one of the world’s best basketball leagues and I believe this move is the best step forward for me as I strive to become an NBA player.
“The Breakers have already had great success in developing NBA level players and I can’t wait to join their program in a move that will advance my career and prepare me for the NBA draft next year.”
Sky Sport New Zealand Breakers Chief Executive Matt Walsh said: “The Sky Sport New Zealand Breakers are very excited to welcome Ousmane and his family to New Zealand.
“It’s exciting to see another one of the top prospects in the world choose the Breakers and the NBL. Ousmane is a unique talent and we look forward to him helping us win games while developing into one of the top picks in the 2022 NBA Draft.”
Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: “We are delighted to welcome Ousmane to the NBL as a Next Star for the forthcoming season.
“Ousmane is an exciting prospect who has had a spectacular junior career in France. He is already projected to be a first round draft pick in 2022 and it is an endorsement of the NBL that he has chosen our league as his best pathway to preparing for the NBA.
“The Next Stars program continues to attract high quality players from across the globe which validates the NBL’s standing as one of the best basketball leagues in the world outside of the NBA.
“The Next Stars program has already been a great success with Brian Bowen Jr, LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton and Didi Louzada all progressing to the NBA after being Next Stars. Justinian Jessup is also playing as a Next Star with Illawarra after being drafted by the Golden State Warriors and we have every expectation that he will suit up with his NBA team next season. In the meantime, Josh Giddey is expected to be a first round pick in this year’s NBA draft after his stellar season with the Adelaide 36ers.
“I am sure Ousmane will achieve the similar heights that some of our previous Next Stars have and we can’t wait to see him hit the court.”