Skip to Malou: The unknown Australian in the 2016 NBA Draft
|Winston Zhang||Jun 19, 2016|
The upcoming NBA draft will attract perhaps the most Australian followers since the 2005 edition, which saw Andrew Bogut go number one overall, or since Exum was an unknown and exciting prospect in 2014. The presence of Ben Simmons right at the top of most mock drafts plays a big part in that, as has Thon Maker beginning to turn heads with his team workouts. He has since worked his way into being projected to go in the late first round.
Even the lesser-known Venky Jois has received some attention, recently impressing at a Sacramento Kings pre-draft workout, and getting some media love from the Sydney Morning Herald.
But wait, there's more.
Emmanuel Malou is the fourth and largely unknown Australian in the 2016 NBA draft. Little wonder, as he only confirmed his draft eligibility just a few weeks ago. The 6'9", 210-pound power forward, who hails from Melbourne, had initially signed a letter of intent to turn out for Iowa State, and only entered the draft as a backup plan in case the NCAA ruled him ineligible to represent the Cyclones.
The eligibility issues arose from some questionable practices by from Malou's time at ABCD Prep. Reportedly, athletes hardly attended classes and his coach, one Glendon Alexander, shirked paying bills (among other responsibilities).
“This is all because of my past. While I’ve been over here, I’ve just been jumping from situation to situation. I feel like I trusted a lot of people I shouldn’t have trusted,” Malou said to foxsports.com.au in May.
“The issue is with the prep school stuff. I knew what I needed to do get done academically, but it’s the other side of it.”
Malou's main body of work that scouts and executives will take into consideration is likely to be from his time at Yuba Community College, in California, where he averaged 14.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game as a freshman.
So now Plan B has become Plan A, and Malou isn't pretending it won't be a battle to even get consideration as a second-round flyer.
“After careful consideration, I have decided that it is time to pursue my NBA dream and sign with an agent,” Malou said in a statement released by Iowa State.
“I know that it is going to require a huge amount of work, but I am motivated and excited for the challenges that lie ahead. I would like to thank all the staff at Iowa State for all that they have done for me. I want to wish them and the players the best of luck in the coming season.”
It's gonna be a heckuva mountain to climb for Malou to get into the Association, but having apparently attracted some attention from the Boston Celtics, his basketball future appears to hold some promise.