Kiwi connection continues, Breakers' Dieng going to OKC

Source: 1News

The New Zealand Breakers' Ousmane Dieng has been selected with the 11th pick in the NBA draft by the New York Knicks at the Barclays Center in New York.

NZ Breakers young star Ousmane Dieng will join the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Moments after he got on stage to meet Commissioner Adam Silver, it was announced that the Knicks would trade Dieng to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Going to OKC continues the New Zealand connection with the NBA team selecting Steven Adams 12th overall in 2013.

Dieng, a 19-year-old hailing from Villeneuve sur-Lot, France played on the Breakers in the 2021-22 season as part of the ANBL’s next stars program.

In his 23 games for the Breakers, he averaged 8.8 points, and 3 rebounds while shooting 40% from the field, impressing with his athletic talent and playmaking ability.

The teenager was invited along with his family to the green room at the draft, which is usually for a select group of players projected to be top picks.

His selection also highlights the international presence in Oklahoma City with Dieng joining an exciting young core made up of Canadians Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort, as well as Australian Josh Giddey.

Dieng’s Breakers teammate Hugo Besson was also selected by the Milwaukee Bucks at number 58.

The guard from Angers, France played in 25 matches for New Zealand averaging 13.92 points, 2.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.

It now means the Breakers are the first international franchise to have two players drafted into the NBA in the same year.