19-year-old Australian Boomer, Dyson Daniels’ NBA dream has today become a reality after he was selected with pick eight by the New Orleans Pelicans at the 2022 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York. Hailing from Bendigo, Victoria, Daniels is a Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence graduate, an NBA Global Academy athlete, and has become just the third player drafted from the NBA Academies, following Josh Giddey’s 2021 draft and Bennedict Mathurin selection at pick-six just ahead of Daniels. Having worked his way up the Australian junior ranks, Daniels represented the green and gold at the 2018 FIBA U15 Oceania Championship and 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup. Following his U19 campaign, Daniels was rewarded with an Australian Boomers debut, at the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. Taking his game to the G-League Ignite for the 2021-22 season, Daniels impressed averaging 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists across his 15 games played. He was also invited to the NBA All-Star weekend, featuring as a Rising Star.
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NBA GA Technical Director Marty Clarke is delighted to see Daniels become the third Academy athlete to achieve his NBA dreams. “Dyson’s unique blend of athletic talent, curiosity, work ethic and self-belief is going to see him take a big step toward achieving a goal he has been chasing for a while,” Clarke told BA Media. “Combined with the fact he is a great teammate, he has an ability to make those around him better, and will no doubt make him a prime target for all teams. “It’s crazy to think last draft day Dyson was sitting with us cheering when Giddey’s name got called, and now he’s the one walking up to get presented a cap. “This is a great reflection on the players and programs (NBAGA/CoE) and the environment that is created to allow young players to develop in a holistic way and be ready for the rigors of the pro world.” Centre of Excellence men’s coach, Robbie McKinlay is proud to have watched Daniels develop as a junior and knows he’ll make a great addition to the “Everyone at the CoE and NBA Academy is extremely excited for Dyson and his family. Dyson’s development throughout his time in Canberra is a testament to his hard work and dedication to improving, and it is no surprise he is getting drafted to the best basketball league in the world,” McKinlay said. “Dyson is a perfect representation of what an Australian basketball player is all about and he will be another great ambassador for the CoE and NBA Academies in the NBA. Dyson is not only a fantastic basketball player; he is an even better person and teammate and that will resonate with any organisation that drafts him. “We wish him well and look forward to watching him achieve his basketball dreams.”