NBA Global Academy athletes SIGN NBL NExt StarS CONTRACTS
MOJAVE KING (AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND), CAIRNS TAIPANS
Mojave King of the NBA Global Academy signed with the Cairns Taipans as a part of the National Basketball League's (NBL) Next Stars program in March of this year. King is a 17 year-old 6’6" wing and projected 2021 first-round NBA draft pick that gained significant attention from NBA personnel, professional scouts, and high-major NCAA colleges and universities after a standout performance at the NBA Academy Games in July of 2019 in Atlanta.
ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony scouted King at L'Hospitalet in Barcelona saying:
"A smooth, 6-foot-5 off-guard with a strong frame, good athleticism and versatility, Mojave King proved to be the tournament's best perimeter shooter, knocking down 14 of his 29 3-point attempts in just more than 100 minutes of action. King historically has been happy to defer to others, but his ability to score in the open floor, hit clean jumpers, get teammates involved and make the right play is interesting, considering his youth and physical tools. The next step in his development will be for him to play with more aggressiveness on both ends of the floor and become a more dynamic ball handler."
JOSH GIDDEY (AUSTRALIA), ADELAIDE 36ers
A second NBA Global Academy athlete, Josh Giddey, signed an NBL Next Stars contract in March with the Adelaide 36ers. Giddey is a 17 year-old 6’8" point guard who has impressed at numerous big time events including a Tournament MVP performance at the Torneo Junior Ciutat De L’Hospitalet in Barcelona in January 2020 and a Camp All-Star selection at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Chicago in February 2020. In February 2020, he also became the youngest male selected to the Australian Senior National Team since Ben Simmons.
ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony scouted Giddey at L'Hospitalet in Barcelona saying:
"Tournament MVP Josh Giddey, a 6-foot-8 guard who operated as the academy's playmaker while often guarding 4s in small-ball lineups, showed his versatility with an impressive line of 19 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists per 40 minutes. Without great length, size or explosiveness, Giddey relies on feel, creativity and swagger to separate himself. You'll often see him throw an outlet pass the length of the floor with his off-hand off a live dribble and then make an impeccable read operating out of pick-and roll. His lack of traditional athleticism, streaky jumper, upright defensive stance and at-times inability to beat longer players off the dribble mean he'll likely have to win scouts over with productivity at higher levels. But he's improving rapidly, even if it might take him a few years to maximize his draft stock."