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Australia 07/08/2018, 23.06 Official

Brian Bowen II sign with Sydney Kings

Nineteen year-old American Brian Bowen II will become the first player in the NBL’s Next Stars program when he lines up for the Sydney Kings in 2018-19.

Nineteen year-old American Brian Bowen II will become the first player in the NBL’s Next Stars program when he lines up for the Sydney Kings in 2018-19.

The Next Stars program contracts NBA draft eligible players and develops them in Australia with a view to fast tracking their readiness for the NBA.

The initiative follows the drafting of Terrance Ferguson by NBA team Oklahoma City Thunder after he elected not to go to college in the US, instead spending the 2016/17 NBL season with the Adelaide 36ers straight out of high school.

Bowen had 21.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a senior in high school at La Lumiere. He was a McDonald’s All-American in 2017 and ranked number 14 in ESPN’s 2017 Recruiting Class. He chose to pull out of the 2018 NBA Draft but is eligible in 2019.

NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: “Brian is an exciting young talent and exactly the sort of NBA prospect we had in mind when developing the Next Stars initiative.”

“We are delighted he is joining the Sydney Kings this season and we look forward to seeing him develop as a professional basketballer. It is a really significant stage of any player’s career and we think that the NBL is the perfect league for Brian to transition from amateur to professional, and demonstrate to all the NBA scouts out there that he has what it takes to compete against grown men playing professional basketball.”

"The Next Stars program will give guys like Brian the chance to refine their game in a world class league in the NBL and, just like Terrance, demonstrate that they’re ready for the NBA.

"We have a record ten Australians playing in the NBA right now and Australian basketball is probably more highly regarded around the world than it has ever been. We see this an opportunity to further strengthen the talent pool of the NBL and at the same time enhance its standing both domestically and globally."

Bowen said: "I am honoured to be the first player under the NBL's Next Stars program and feel it will be the perfect next step as I continue the path toward fulfilling my dream of playing in the NBA.

“In joining the Sydney Kings, I couldn't ask for a better opportunity to start my professional career and look forward to learning from all the team's veteran pros, like Andrew Bogut, Jerome Randle and Brad Newley. I can't wait to get out to Sydney and join the team.”

Sydney Kings Coach Andrew Gaze said: “We’re looking forward to working with Brian and helping him on his basketball journey. Brian has great size and athleticism and will provide us with options in the three spot.”

Sydney Kings General Manager of Basketball Jeff Van Groningen said: “We look forward to Brian joining us at the Kings. We have an experienced core group and we like the youth and athleticism that Brian can add to the mix”

“In our conversations with him we know he wants to improve and get the most out of his talent, but his overriding focus is to be the best teammate he can be and do whatever is asked of him.”
E. Carchia

E. Carchia

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