NBA prospect Dyson Daniels has become the first Australian to sign with the NBA G League team Ignite.
Daniels is considered one of the top international prospects, currently ranked 16th in ESPN mock drafts.
Dyson spoke about his excitement at the prospect of playing with other NBA prospects Jaden Hardy, Michael Foster, and Scoot Henderson in the 2021-2022 G League season.
"I feel that this is the best pathway for me to get to my ultimate goal; the NBA."
"It has every resource I need in really good development, a great coaching staff, and great competition to go against every day," he told ESPN.
With Jaden Hardy currently ranked number two in the mock drafts, there will be a lot of attention on the team in the upcoming season.
Daniels spent the beginning of 2021 attending the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence and the Australian Institute of Sport, in the NBA Global Academy.
He began garnering global attention after representing the Australian Boomers in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifier. The youngster starred in the Boomers victory over New Zealand, amassing 23 points, six steals, four assists, and three rebounds.
His two-way play impressed scouts and made him an attractive prospect for professional and College teams.
He was offered contracts for the NBL Next Stars Program, and college scholarships for top sides in Houston, Oklahoma, Saint Mary's, and Colorado just to name a few.
Growing up, Daniels has played predominantly against older players, and he felt that was the best option for the next phase of his career. He spoke with ESPN about how that impacted his decision.
"I felt like growing up and always playing against men and people older than me that I was ready to take the step into the pro world, so college was the first option I eliminated."
His decision to select Ignite was based on the development of the program, and Daniels's intention to make the leap into the NBA in 2022.
"My aim is to be one and done," Daniels told ESPN. "I know that with my work ethic in getting in the gym extra hours is going to give me the best chance at getting drafted."
He is determined to continue to work and try and improve his draft stocks as much as possible.
"I'm going to do everything I can to get drafted and get drafted early."
"I'm not too sure who exactly I'll be playing against, but I know that it's going to be tough competition and there's going to be challenges to face."
Ignite is a G League team created as an alternative pathway for young athletes. It has come in response to NBA prospects turning down US Colleges and looking for alternative routes into the league.
In the 2020-2021 season, Ignite managed to sign multiple top NBA prospects, with Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Daishen Nix headlining the list of potential high-end draft picks.
Ignite managed to make the playoffs, and Green and Kuminga became potential top 10 picks. With these results, the first season of Ignite was a success.
There has been a recent trend of top prospects looking for professional experience outside of the standard college basketball journey. Not only are these young athletes able to earn a paid contract, but get an opportunity to make themselves NBA-ready by the time they are drafted.
LaMelo Ball and Luka Doncic are recent players who played professional basketball at 18 years old. Their opportunities helped both make an immediate impact in the NBA. This was due to the experience obtained playing against bigger bodies and the physicality of a men's league.
Dyson is ready for the next opportunity and is excited about the prospect of improving his game even further.
"I know that every day in practice I'll be going against some quality American high schoolers as well as some veterans who I will be able to learn from."
"I'm not sure what the schedule will look like but I'm going to be ready to play whether it be a normal season or more of like a bubble-type season."