French guard Ousmane Dieng of the NBL declares for 2022 NBA draft

French guard Ousmane Dieng of the NBL declares for 2022 NBA draft

USA News

Ousmane Dieng, a 6-foot-9 forward of the New Zealand Breakers in the National Basketball League, told ESPN on Friday that he will declare for the 2022 NBA draft.

Dieng, who was born in France, became the first European player to join the “Next Stars” program, a plan introduced by the NBL to give the top prospects a way to play professionally. Along with Dieng, LaMelo Ball, R.J. Hampton and Didi Louzada have also participated in the initiative.

The 18-year-old is widely considered to be a first-round pick given his playmaking and defensive ability. He is averaging 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists on 40% shooting from the field in 23 games this season with the Breakers.

Prior to joining the Breakers, Dieng played with the INSEP Academy, a French training center in Paris, averaging 12.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 assists. The program also hosted players like Tony Parker and Boris Diaw among others.

Dieng will likely need additional time to develop but teams certainly liked that he played in the NBL against tough competition. Given his improving skillset and age, Dieng could hear his name called in the first round this year.

The NBA draft will take place on June 23.

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