One of Australia's fastest rising young stars, Melbourne point guard Josh Giddey has committed to the Adelaide 36ers as their Next Star, for the NBL 2020/21 season.
Giddey, who could be a potential first round pick for the 2021 NBA draft, was the youngest Australian to debut for the Australian Boomers since Ben Simmons, in Australia's FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers matchup against Hong Kong last month. He publicly declared his intention to join the NBL last month.
“The opportunity in Adelaide was something I couldn’t turn down — and I really appreciated them flying to Sydney to meet with me — and to play against the type of players that are here in the NBL is only going to benefit me at the next level,” Giddey told Fox Sports Australia's Olgun Uluc.
Giddey, a pass-first guard who excels in creating opportunities for his teammates, in a style that is reminiscent of Dallas All-Star Luka Doncic, is the also first Australian player to join the NBL's talent development program, part of which aims to grow NBA draft-eligible players and prepare them for the NBA. Recent Next Stars, 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.
“Australia has some of the best young basketball talent in the world," NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said. "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.”
Giddey, who is 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 (CoE) 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. The 6'8 point guard was also elected tournament MVP at the 2020 Torneo Junior Ciutat de L'Hospitalet in Spain, earlier in January.
“I’ve been familiar with the NBL for a while, trained with NBL teams, and played against NBL players, so I think just being around it so long will help me as I know what to expect," Giddey shared, on his expectations in playing at the NBL level. “I mean, I’ve watched the NBL for as long as I can remember. And, I wouldn’t say there’s anyone in particular I’m looking forward to going up against but, regardless of who’s out there, I just gonna play my game and I know it’ll work out."