NBA Draft 2022: Trio of NBA Academy graduates expected to get selected

When the NBA Academy was launched in 2016, one of the main goals was to identify and develop the best basketball prospects from around the world.

Josh Giddey became the first NBA Academy graduate to be selected in the NBA Draft after being selected sixth overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2021. When the 2022 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, three other former academy graduates are expected to be named.

Dyson Daniels, Bennedict Mathurin and Hyunjung Lee continue to climb draft boards after using the NBA Academy to launch their promising basketball careers.

“To see these young graduates of the NBA Academy achieve their lifelong dream of being drafted into the NBA in the first few years of the program is tremendously rewarding for all of our coaches and staff,” said Chris Ebersole, senior director of the NBA oversees the elite development of the NBA Global Academy. “We are so proud of these players for representing themselves, their home countries and the NBA Academy program so well on and off the court. We look forward to watching their continued success at the NBA level.”


DysonDaniels

Daniels could be the latest Australian to make a significant impact on the NBA.

Daniels, who hails from Australia, has had a good season with the G League Ignite. He’s supposed to be a lottery pick. The 6-6 point guard is a great height and is an above average defender and playmaker. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.1 steals in 15 games with the Ignite, and his game improved over the season.

“Dyson’s journey – from NBA Global Academy to G League Ignite to the NBA – exemplifies the NBA’s commitment to developing young athletes and preparing them for the highest levels of the sport,” said Ebersole. “The leaps Dyson has made with his game speaks to his professional approach and his desire to get better every day. We are so proud of Dyson and delighted to see his hard work paying off.”

Daniels was Giddey’s teammate at the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia.


Benedict Mathurin

Mathurin’s athleticism could be his ticket to a lottery pick and NBA minutes.

A native Canadian, Mathurin enjoyed a highly successful college career in Arizona. He’s 6ft 6 tall and what sets him apart from many players is his athleticism. 19-year-old Wing is explosive and has played several high points with the Wildcats. He competes and has a knight good enough to compete against the two. It is predicted to be a lottery pick.

“Bennedict is a true NBA Academy pioneer in that he was the very first Canadian to join the program, setting the stage for several others to follow in his footsteps,” said Ebersole. “His work ethic, competitive intensity and leadership qualities helped him succeed at NBA Academy Latin America and then rise to the highest echelons of college basketball, and will now serve him well as he makes the leap to the NBA.”

The Pac-12 Player of the Year averaged 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.


Hyunjung Lee

Hyunjung Lee’s throw has sparked interest ahead of the 2022 draft.

The 6-foot-7 Lee, who hails from South Korea, averaged 15.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game at Davidson. He is expected to be selected in the second round and if selected he would be only the second Korean player in the NBA.

His 50-40-90 splits on shooting get teams buzzing. Like Stephen Curry, another former Davidson player who used to fill the nets, Lee wasn’t a high-grade recruit from high school.

“From his first day at the NBA Global Academy, Lee has been an exceptional shot, one of the best I’ve seen in basketball, and he will continue to tip his hat to that elite ability,” said Ebersole. “At the NBA Global Academy and then at Davidson, Lee worked to develop his entire game, including his defense, ball handling and off-ball movement, and his well-rounded game allowed him to achieve historic success in the college ranks. We are proud of Lee and excited for him as he embarks on his NBA journey.”

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