Aussie teen nominates for NBA draft

Josh Giddey has rewritten the NBL’s record books – now he is ready to “take the leap” to the world’s best basketball league after officially nominating for the 2021 NBA Draft.

Giddey has played 23 games for the Adelaide 36ers in his debut NBL season, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds per game to complement an NBL-best average of 7.43 assists.

The 18-year-old, 203cm playmaker earlier this week became the youngest NBL player in history to record a “triple double”, with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the New Zealand Breakers, and is strong favourite to secure the NBL Rookie of the Year award at season’s end.

He has also recorded the most assists by a local player in their first NBL season with 171 dimes thus far.

Josh Giddey is NBA bound after nominating for the 2021 draft. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Giddey is the No 13 prospect in ESPN’s Top 100 NBA draft rankings and could climb higher in the lottery.

“I’m beyond grateful for everyone who’s helped me on my basketball journey to this point,” Giddey posted on his personal Instagram account.

“Thank you to my parents, who have been in my corner every step of the way. I couldn‘t have asked for a better support system. Thank you to the Melbourne Tigers for allowing me to develop my love for basketball and the NBA Academy for being my home away from home while I continued to chase that dream.

“Thank you to my coaches and teammates at the Adelaide 36ers for guiding me through my first professional season and to the wider NBL community for the unbelievable experience I got to have as an 18-year-old. The league welcomed me with open arms, and I know I’ll end my time here as a better person and player.

“With all of that being said, I feel like I’m ready to look toward the next step in my career. My lifelong dream has been to play in the best professional league in the world and, after speaking with those around me, I believe I’m ready to take that leap.

“I’m excited to announce that I will be entering the 2021 NBA Draft.”

Giddey has a chance to be the first international player chosen in the 2021 NBA draft.

Adelaide chairman Grant Kelley believes Giddey is blessed with the natural ability and work ethic to succeed at the highest level.

“I first met Josh just over a year ago and was extraordinarily impressed with his humility, presence, and maturity,” Kelley said.

“This season, Josh has also shown he is a consummate team player, with resilience and toughness, in challenging circumstances. We wish him all the best in the upcoming NBA Draft, and know he will be an asset, both on and off the court, wherever he plays.”

Giddey is ready to take the next step in his career. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

36ers general manager of basketball Jeff Van Groningen – the man who helped lure Andrew Bogut to the Sydney Kings from the NBA – has high hopes for Giddey’s future.

“Josh is the most talented 18-year-old the NBL has seen in a generation – and an even better young man,” Van Groningen said.

“We know he’ll represent himself, his family, the Adelaide 36ers, and our league so well on NBA Draft day, just as he has represented us so well this season.”

The 2021 NBA Draft lottery is on June 22, while the draft will take place on July 29.

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