Friday, December 1 2023

The G League Ignite was one of the most celebrated teams in last week’s draft, as four of their players were selected by NBA franchises, including top talent Scoot Henderson. Ever since the project started back in 2020, they have drafted a total of 10 athletes to the league. 

The Portland Trail Blazers were lucky enough to chose the 19-year-old as the third overall pick, while the other three are headlined by No.33 Leonard Miller who is heading to Minnesota, Spurs’ new player No. 44 Sidy Cissoko and finally No.47 Mojave King who is now in Detroit.

The Ignite project was created with the objective of preparing young talents for the NBA Draft and general knowledge about being a professional basketball player. In only three years, the G League squad now has one of the sport’s best development programs, also offering involvement in community service and financial literacy education.

Take a look at this small documentary dedicated to the Ignite program and evidence of their success so far:

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“We learned a lot of things in the beginning of the season that had nothing to do with skillset, things that go on behind the closed doors of basketball, the business of it. Learning how to be a pro both on and off the court,” Henderson said after being drafted. “I’m the most prepared player in the draft.”

The next Ignite athlete to be announced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was Miller, who will represent the Timberwolves this upcoming campaign.

“The game that we play in the G League is the same as the NBA. The pace, the competitiveness and everything that comes with it,” he told the press. “You got guys coming down from the league, guys trying to make their way into the league. I already have that feel that my game right now is ready.” 

Even younger stars like Matas Buzelis are taking the Ignite road to the NBA Draft

Born in 2004, young Matas Buzelis jumped from being a five-star high school prospect, to participating in the 2023 McDonald’s All-American Game in March, to just recently signing for the NBA G League Ignite, as it has been announced by the team’s General Manager Anthony McClish this month.

“It’s a dream come true to join Ignite,” Buzelis said with excitement. “I have the opportunity to develop in a professional system as I continue to strive toward my goal of playing in the NBA. I look forward to joining the team in Henderson and getting to work.

“I want to thank my coaches, trainers and teammates for preparing me for this opportunity. I also want to thank my family for their endless love and support throughout my journey.”

The No. 2-ranked senior in the class of 2023 for high school basketball has also shared the news recently that he’s joining the G League Ignite this summer. Ron Holland told the press that it has been quite the journey.

“The G League will help me reach my potential as a basketball player and prepare me for the NBA,” he said. “To have a long career, I need to prepare my body and improve my skills as I continue to try to win games. They have a program to help develop my body and my game.”

Source: Basketball Insider


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