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NBA Draft 2018 Presented by State Farm® – International Storylines

NBA Draft 2018 Presented by State Farm® – International Storylines

 

Global Reach

 

  • NBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm® will reach fans in 215 countries and territories and will be available on International NBA League Pass.

 

  • The NBA and Cisco will present live interviews with top 2018 draftees via Cisco video conference from the Barclays Center for media in Australia, Argentina, China, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Tanzania.

 

  • At least one international player has been selected in the top 10 in every NBA Draft since 2013.

 

  • Since 1997, there have been nine international players who were drafted 1st overall, including:
  • Ben Simmons (Australia; 2016 NBA Draft)
  • Andrew Wiggins (Canada; 2014 NBA Draft)
  • Anthony Bennett (Canada; 2013 NBA Draft)
  • Kyrie Irving (Australia; 2011 NBA Draft)
  • Andrea Bargnani (Italy; 2006 NBA Draft)
  • Andrew Bogut (Australia; 2005 NBA Draft)
  • Yao Ming (China; 2002 NBA Draft)
  • Michael Olowokandi (Nigeria; 1998 NBA Draft)
  • Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands; 1997 NBA Draft)

 

  • If Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic are selected 1st and 2nd overall, it will be the first time in NBA history that two international players are drafted with the top two picks.

 

  • During the last three NBA Drafts, a combined 55 international players were selected, including a record 27 international players selected in the 2016 NBA Draft.

 

  • The record 27 international players selected in the 2016 NBA Draft, surpassed the previous record of 21 set in 2003.

 

  • During the 2016 NBA Draft, a record 15 international players were selected in the first round, and a record-tying 12 international players were selected in the second round.

 

  • Over the last 10 years (since 2007 NBA Draft), there have been 28 international players who were selected in the top 10.

 

 

 

  • 2017-18 season featured 108 players from a record 42 countries on opening night rosters (press release from 10/17/17 linked here)

 

  • Fourth consecutive season that opening night rosters featured at least 100 international players and all 30 teams had at least one international player.

 

  • Canada had the most international NBA players of any country outside the U.S. for the fourth straight year with 11 players (France 10, Australia 8, Spain 7).

 

  • Opening-night rosters also featured a record number of European players (64).

 

  • 2018 NBA Playoffs featured a record 62 international players from a record 33 countries (press release from 4/12/18 linked here).

 

  • The Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz led the league with seven international players on 2017-18 opening night NBA rosters.  Second straight season the Jazz led the league.

 

  • The Spurs’ 2014 NBA Championship team featured a record nine international players during the playoffs.

 

Dandre Ayton (Bahamas) – University of Arizona

 

  • If Ayton is selected 1st overall, he will join Mychal Thompson (1978) as the only Bahamian players ever selected 1st overall in the NBA Draft.

 

  • If selected 1st overall, he will be the first player from Latin America/Caribbean to be selected 1st overall since Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), who was the 1st  overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Ayton is selected in the top 5, he will be the highest drafted Bahamian player since Mychal Thompson (1978).

 

  • If Ayton is selected 6th overall, he will be the highest drafted Bahamian player since Buddy Hield, who was selected 6th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

 

  • Ayton participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global 2016 in Toronto, Canada.

 

  • If Ayton is selected 1st overall, he will join Andrea Bargnani (Italy; 1st overall in the 2006 NBA Draft) as the highest drafted former Basketball Without Borders camper.

 

 

Luka Doncic (Slovenia) – Real Madrid

 

  • If Doncic is drafted 1st overall, he will be the first European player to be selected 1st overall since Andrea Bargnani (Italy) who was selected 1st overall in the 2006 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Doncic is selected in the top 2, he will be the highest drafted European player since Bargnani.

 

  • If Doncic is selected 3rd overall, he will be the highest drafted European player since Enes Kanter (Turkey), who was selected 3rd overall in the 2011 draft.

 

  • If Doncic is selected between 4th and 6th overall, he will be the highest drafted European player since Dragan Bender (Croatia), who was selected 4th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Doncic is selected 7th overall, he will be the highest drafted European player since Lauri Markkanen, who was selected 7th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft

 

  • If Doncic is selected in the top 14, he will be the highest drafted Slovenian player ever.

 

 

  • If Doncic is selected in the first round, he will be the first Slovenian player to be selected in the first round since Sasha Vujacic and Beno Udrih were selected 27th and 28th, respectively, in the 2004 Draft.

 

  • Doncic and Goran Dragic (Heat) led Slovenia to its first Eurobasket championship this past year, after defeating Serbia in the championship game. The team was coached by Igor Kokoshkov (Serbia) who is now the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. If Doncic is selected by the Suns he will be reunited with Kokoshkov.

 

 

Dzanan Musa (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – KK Cedevita

 

  • If Musa is selected in the top 15, he will be the highest drafted player ever from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

  • If Musa is selected in the first round, he will be the 2nd player ever from Bosnia and Herzegovina to be drafted in the first round joining Jusuf Nurkic, who was selected 16th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.

 

 

  • Musa has played alongside Trail Blazer’s big man Jusuf Nurkic on the BiH national team. They were both announced on the preliminary rosters for World Cup Qualifiers.

 

 

Mortiz Wagner (Germany) – University of Michigan

 

  • [See relevant items below re: Issac Bonga]

 

  • Wagner led the University of Michigan to the 2018 NCAA Final Four where his team beat Loyola-Chicago to advance to the Championship where they were defeated by Villanova. Wagner was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team.

 

  • Quote about Dirk Nowitzki: “I’m always flattered and shocked by any kind of direct comparisons to Dirk because that’s my MJ, you know? I had his poster on my wall and it motivated me every day. He made me believe that this was all possible. He was just another boy from Germany as well. Shooting is something that I always enjoyed, and I remember thinking, ‘If he can do it, why can’t I?’ That was my mindset. He’s definitely an idol of mine and one of my favorite players of all-time.” (Source: Moritz Wagner: 'Dirk was my MJ; he made me believe this was possible'; HoopsHype)

 

 

Isaac Bonga (Germany) – Fraport Skyliners

 

  • If Bonga is selected in the top 7, he will be the highest drafted German player ever.

 

  • If Bonga is selected 8th overall, he will be the highest drafted German player since Detlef Schrempf, who was selected 8th overall in the 1985 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Bonga is selected anywhere between 9th and 16th overall, he will be the highest drafted German player since Dirk Nowitzki, who was selected 9th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Bonga is selected 17th overall or lower, he will be the highest drafted German player since Dennis Schroder, who was selected 17th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Wagner and Bonga are both drafted, it will be the first time that two German players are drafted in the same year.

 

  • Bonga participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global 2017 in New Orleans.

 

 

Arnoldas Kulboka (Lithuania) – Capo D’Orlando

 

  • If Kulboka is selected in the top 10, he will be the highest-drafted Lithuanian player since Jonas Valanciunas, who was drafted 5th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Kulboka is selected 11th overall or lower, he will be the highest-drafted Lithuanian player since Domantas Sabonis, who was selected 11th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Kulboka is selected in the first round, he will be the 7th Lithuania player to be drafted in the first round.

 

  • Kulboka participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Europe 2015 in Gran Canaria, Spain and was one of the more highly touted prospects who participated in the NBA Global Camp 2018 in Treviso, Italy. (Images of Kulbolka at the NBA Global Camp 2018; Credit photos to NBAE).

 

 

Kostas Antetokounmpo (Greece) – University of Dayton

 

  • If Antetokounmpo is selected in the top 12, he will be the highest drafted Greek player ever.

 

  • If Antetokounmpo is selected 13th overall or lower, he will be the highest drafted Greek player since Georgios Papagiannis, who was drafted 13th overall in 2016.

 

  • If Antetokounmpo is selected in the first round, he will be the fifth Greek player to be drafted in the first round.

 

  • If Antetokounmpo is drafted, it will be the first time in NBA history that three international siblings have been drafted into the NBA.  Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted 15th overall in 2013 and Thanasis Antetokounmpo was drafted 51st overall in 2014.

 

 

Elie Okobo (France) – Pau-Orthez

 

  • If Okobo is selected in the top 7, he will be the highest drafted French player ever.

 

  • If Okobo is selected in the first round, it will be the third consecutive year that a French player is drafted in the first round, joining Frank Ntilikina (New York Knicks; 8th overall in 2017 Draft), Guerschon Yabusele (Boston Celtics; 16th overall in the 2016 Draft) and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Philadelphia 76ers; 24th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft).

 

  • There were 10 French players on 2017-18 opening night NBA rosters, including a league-high seven players (tied with Australia) who were on 2018 NBA Playoff rosters.

 

 

Justin Jackson (Canada) – University of Maryland

 

  • [See relevant items below re: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander]

 

 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Canada) – University of Kentucky

 

  • If Gilgeous-Alexander is selected in the top 6, he will be the highest drafted Canadian player since Andrew Wiggins, who was selected 1st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Gilgeous-Alexander selected 7th overall or lower, he will be the highest drafted Canadian player since Jamal Murray, who was selected 7th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Gilgeous-Alexander is selected in the first round, a Canadian will have been drafted in the first round six of the last seven years (2017 did not feature a Canadian first round selection).

 

  • There were 11 Canadian players on 2017-18 opening night NBA rosters, the most of any country outside the U.S. for the fourth straight year.

 

 

Josh Okogie (Nigeria) – Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology)

 

  • If Okogie is selected in the top 26, he will be the highest drafted Nigerian player since Michael Olowokandi, who was selected 1st overall in 1998 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Okogie is selected between 26th and 29th overall, he will be the highest drafted Nigerian player since Mamadou N’diaye, who was drafted 26th overall in 2000.

 

  • If Okogie is selected 30th or lower, he will be the highest drafted Nigerian player since Festus Ezeli, who was drafted 30th in 2012.

 

  • If Okogie is selected in the first round, he will become the third Nigerian player to be drafted in the first round since 2000.

 

  • Okogie had the highest vertical jump at the Draft combine with a 42-inch vertical leap.

 

  • There are more than 80 current and former NBA players from Africa or with direct family ties to the continent, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria).

 

  • There were 12 African players on 2017-18 opening night rosters.

 

  • NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game on the continent, took place Aug. 1, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The third NBA Africa Game will take place this August in Pretoria, South Africa (release linked here).

 

 

Rodions Kurucs (Latvia) – FC Barcelona

 

  • If Kurucs is selected between 4th to 24th, he will be the highest drafted Latvian player since Kristaps Porzingis, who was drafted 4th overall in 2015.

 

  • If Kurucs is selected 25th or lower, he will be the highest drafted Latvian player since Anzejs Pasecniks, who was selected 25th overall in 2017.

 

  • If Kurucs is selected in the first round, it will be the first time that two Latvian players were drafted in consecutive years (Anzejs Pasecniks was selected 25th overall in the 2017 Draft).

 

  • Four Latvian players have played in the NBA: Kristaps Porzingis (active), Davis Bertans (active), Andris Biedrins (last played in the 2013-14 season), and Gundars Vetra (last played in the 1992-93 season).

 

 

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Ukraine) – University of Kansas

 

  • [See relevant items below re: Issuf Sanon]

 

  • Mykhailiuk finished his four-year college career with the Kansas Jayhawks last year, helping lead the Jayhawks to the 2018 Final Four.

 

 

Issuf Sanon (Ukraine) – Union Olimpija

 

  • If Sanon is selected in the top 51, he will be the highest drafted Ukrainian player since Alex Len, who was selected 5th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Sanon is selected 52nd or lower, he will be the highest drafted Ukrainian player since Joel Bolomboy, who was selected 52nd overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

 

  • If Sanon and fellow Ukranian Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk are both drafted, it will be the first time that two players from the Ukraine are selected in the same draft.

 

  • At the age of 18 (turns 19 in October), Sanon is the youngest player in the 2018 NBA Draft.

 

 

 

Tryggvi Hlinason (Iceland) – Valencia Basket

 

  • If selected in the top 60, Hlinason will be the highest drafted player ever from Iceland.

 

  • If selected, Hlinason will be the first player drafted from Iceland since Petur Gudmundsson, who was drafted 61st overall in the 1981 NBA Draft.

 

  • Two Icelandic players have been on NBA rosters– Jon Stefannson and Petur Gudmundsson.

 

  • Hlinason started playing basketball about four years ago. He grew up on a farm in an Icelandic town of 900 people but has emerged as an NBA prospect in recent years through impressive performances in national team competitions.

 

 

Yatu Watanabe (Japan) – George Washington University

 

  • If drafted, Watanabe would be the first Japanese player to be selected in the NBA Draft.

 

  • Yatu Tabuse is the only Japanese player to ever be on an NBA roster (Phoenix Suns; 2004-05)

 

 

  • Watanabe finished his senior season at George Washington by leading his team in scoring, blocks and 3-pointers made for the season. He became the first George Washington player to be named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

 

 

Abudushalamu Abudurexiti (China) – Xinjiang Flying Tigers

 

  • If drafted in the top 42, Abudurexiti would be the highest selected Chinese player since Yi Jianlian, who was drafted 6th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft.

 

  • If drafted 43rd or lower, Abudurexiti would be the highest selected Chinese player since Zhou Qi, who was selected 43rd overall in 2016.

 

 

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Basketball Without Borders (BWB):

 

  • More than 50 former BWB campers have been drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents.

 

  • Record 24 former BWB campers were on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season.

 

  • Andrea Bargnani (Italy; 1st overall in the 2006 NBA Draft), Enes Kanter (Turkey; 3rd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft), Joel Embiid (Cameroon; 3rd overall in the 2014 NBA Draft), Dragan Bender (Croatia; 4th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft), Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania; 5th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft), Danilo Gallinari (Italy; 6th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft), Lauri Markkanen (Finland; 7th overall in 2017 NBA Draft), Jamal Murray (Canada; 7th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft), and Frank Ntilikina (France; 8th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft) are the highest drafted BWB campers ever.

 

 

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