Dyson Daniels in the 2022 NBA Draft picked up by the New Orleans Pelicans as the Australian completes his journey from Bendigo to the Big League

Bendigo’s Dyson Daniels was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the eighth overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft.

The NBA-ready defender and playmaker was forced to wait after being destined to rise to No. 6 in a high-quality field for selection in Brooklyn on Friday (AEST).

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But his dream came true when the Pelican smashed the 19-year-old for eighth. His selection follows Australia’s Josh Gedi, who finished sixth last year and Josh Green (#18) in 2020, underlining the emerging talent at the Boomers’ disposal ahead of next year’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics and beyond.

A large and versatile goalkeeper with a height of 202 cm, scouts Daniels impressed with his competitiveness and unselfishness on both ends of the floor while playing in America’s G-League.

He first gained his reputation as a versatile superstar when he made his NBL1 debut with Bendigo just after his 16th birthday, before finally growing into his body and securing a place in the NBA World Academy.

With his pick for the Pelicans, Daniels joins the likes of fellow Aussies Patty Mills, Ben Simmons and Josh Giddey in the world’s top basketball league.

But it’s been a frantic few months to get to this point, and only now is he enjoying some downtime at his California residence.

“It was tough, but the stakes are high, so I’ve been putting everything in it, in the gym a lot, and traveling a lot,” he told 7NEWS Melbourne before enlisting.

Dyson Daniels was named the eighth pick in the NBA Draft. attributed to him: GT

“Every two days I traveled to a different place to train with (NBA franchises).

“I’ve worked with Portland, New Orleans, San Antonio, New York, Detroit, Indiana, and Washington.”

Daniels was also sipped and dined by franchise executives as they got to know the person behind the basketball player that they should consider investing their time and money in over the coming years.

“I enjoy it, I love to go out and eat, and the good food they serve,” he said earlier this week.

“These are the people who choose you, so you have to make a good impression, I just be myself.

“(We) talk about the background, how you grew up, your path, each other’s families, the team, what that looks like, and what they’re looking to achieve next year.”

Daniels’ stock grew rapidly after impressing talented scouts at the recent NBA Draft Combine project.

“She shot the ball really well, and it was one of my question marks,” he said of the Chicago encounter.

“I worked on it, and the combination definitely helped boost me. My speed and athletic elegance was a question, but I think I answered that with the test. It definitely helped me a lot.”

Crucially, Daniels’ show raised the teen from a mid-range prospect to a lottery pick–one of the 14 best picks, owned in large part by the persecuted teams seeking the most help.

That comes with higher expectations, and as little as an initial annual salary of at least A4,415,090 dollars.

Dyson Daniels impressed with the 2022 NBA Draft. attributed to him: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

find his own way

But he did not take the traditional route of entering the NBA. Most players undergo the US college system for a year or two before their enlistment dream comes true.

Instead, Daniels spent two years at the NBA Academy in Canberra before heading to G-League – the NBA’s reserve division – to join Team Ignite, a dedicated development team designed to accelerate draft elite prospects.

He averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in play against teams that featured a mix of veterans seeking an NBA shot and young guns working to hone their own skills.

“For me, it was the best path for me to get into the NBA. It felt like there were a lot of people going to college, and you could get lost in the system a little bit,” Daniels said before the Pelicans picked him up.

“(With Ignite) we were still going off the field, taking Zoom lessons on finances, body and mental health. We take Zoom lessons two to three times a week about different things to get an education.”

His father is an American Ricky and he played for the Bendigo Braves in the Australian Basketball League Two.

The rural Victorian town now holds a special place in Dyson’s heart and will never lose him throughout his career. With strong Australian roots, having a place on the Boomers teams is also a strong ambition for the future.

“I was born and raised in Australia, and I didn’t live in the US until last year, so I’m Australian. I claim Australia, that’s for sure,” Daniels said.

“I love the Boomers; they have a great culture. I want to do the opportunity to represent my country, and I want to play for the Boomers in the World Cup and the Olympics.

“(The NBA is) the best league in the world, I dreamed of playing in it as a kid and I’m ready. I’m sure there might be some things that keep me away, but I’ll be as prepared as I can.”

Australians in the NBA

Josh Gedi, Oklahoma City Thunder

Josh Green, Dallas Mavericks

Joe Engels, Portland Trailblazers

Jock Landal, San Antonio Spurs

Patty Mills, Brooklyn Nets

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets

Matisse Thiebol, Philadelphia 76ers

Keri Irving, Brooklyn Nets (born in Melbourne, representing the USA as a dual citizen)

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