The NBL’s Next Stars program has risen to four with two more high profile players announcing their intention to join the league for the 2019-20 Hungry Jack’s NBL Season.
Highly rated NBA prospect Terry Armstrong has signed to play for South East Melbourne Phoenix in its inaugural NBL Season.
A 6’6’’ shooting guard from Flint, Michigan, Armstrong had previously committed to Arizona University but has instead decided to kick start his professional career in the NBL.
Armstrong, 18, played his High School basketball at Bella Vista Prep and starred in Nike’s recent Elite Youth Basketball League, averaging 20.4 points and 5.3 rebounds, shooting over 45 per cent from the field.
He will likely be joined by NBA Draft Pick Marcos Louzada Silva who intends to sign with the Sydney Kings following his NBA Summer League commitments.
Known as Didi, the 20 year-old Brazilian born player was selected with the 35th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, with whom he will compete at NBA Summer League over the next two weeks in Las Vegas.
Louzada played last season with Franca Basquetebol Clube in the Brazilian Premier League where he averaged 10.6 points per game on 50% shooting from the field and 43% from three. He was also named an All-Star, and won the League’s Most Improved Player and Revelation Player (best undiscovered talent).
Louzada would join the NBL as the first Next Star to have already been drafted. A recent change to the guidelines of the program permits players drafted in the immediately prior draft to be contracted by the NBL as a Next Star.
Armstrong and Louzada would join the Illawarra Hawks’ LaMelo Ball and the SKY Sport New Zealand Breakers’ RJ Hampton in the NBL next season.
Hungry Jack’s NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger: “We’re thrilled to welcome Terry and Didi to the NBL. They are both extremely talented players and I’m sure the NBL will help strengthen and develop their games ahead of what I anticipate to be long and successful NBA careers.
“Recently we saw Brian Bowen II sign a two-way contract with Indiana Pacers after his season with the Sydney Kings as the NBL’s inaugural Next Star.
“To have players of the calibre of RJ Hampton, LaMelo Ball, Terry Armstrong and Didi Louzada decide they want to play in the NBL is a tremendous endorsement of the competition and its standing as one of the premier basketball leagues in the world outside of the NBA.”