NBA number eight draft pick Bendigo’s Dyson Daniels picked up by New Orleans Pelicans

Australian basketball exporter Dyson Daniels has been called up to the NBA and the New Orleans Pelicans pick him at number eight.

The 19-year-old from Bendigo in Central Victoria has spent most of the past year playing in the United States for NBA development team G League Ignite.

During that time, he averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3 turnovers per game.

With a 6’11” wingspan, Daniels is also praised for his versatility to play multiple positions on and off the ball, as well as his powerful defense.

Ben McCauley coached him in the juniors and said he always showed a fierce determination to improve, even as a starter with the Bendigo Braves under 12.

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Rapid turnout for 19 year old

Daniels made his debut for Australia in FIBA ​​Asia Cup qualifiers in February 2021.

He also won silver when he played for Victoria at the Australian U20 Championships last May.

In August 2018, he joined the NBA Academy in Canberra.

Dyson Daniels
Dyson Daniels played for the Bendigo Braves under-14 side at Nationals in 2015.Delivered: Bendigo Braves

But his ascent to the top basketball league in the world was relatively quick and somewhat unconventional.

Instead of going to college, Daniels moved to the US to play for the new NBA development team G League Ignite.

His former coaches and friends say his ability to create magic through a pass and be a playmaker is the icing on the cake of his potential.

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An inspiration for country children

Australian Opals star Tess Madgen said hard work was the most important ingredient for Daniels, as with all professional athletes.

“Never be happy with a settlement,” she said.

“I don’t think in any way that he will. He will keep pushing and pushing to be the best he can.”

She praised the Bendigo Braves organization for the opportunities they created for their players.

“The Braves are a great club and organization and they really have the potential for people to become what they want to be,” she said.

“The coaches are elite and the facilities are great.

Proponents of Bendigo basketball hope it will help them attract more young players.

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