By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Deni Avdija is just the fifth Israeli player to enter the NBA after he was selected with the 9th overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards. The former Maccabi guard/forward explained why this is a significant moment for him to the press, following his selection.
“I didn’t imagine that. It was crazy for me. Israel is such a small country that doesn’t provide as many NBA players as other countries, but for me just to represent my country and to make history, that’s a blessing” Avdija said. “I have the whole nation behind me. I hope I’m going to represent well. I never dreamed about this moment. I’m thinking it’s just still a dream. I mean, I don’t have any words”.
Avdija also talked about his former Maccabi teammate, Omri Casspi, who made his return to Israel after spending several years in the NBA and how he had prepared him for what to expect when taking the leap.
“Omri was more in touch with me because we played on the same team. We would talk a lot about the NBA, about his rookie year in specific, and I wanted to know what can I do best as a rookie and what skills are important to have and how is all the travels and the schedule. And yeah, we just talked a lot in that season”.
19-year-old Avdija hopes to inspire the next generation of Israeli basketball and hopes to be the best version of himself through this journey, as he explained further.
“As much motivation as I can bring to the young players, that’s a blessing for me. I will do everything to promote it. Hopefully, I have the chance after my career for more. I’m just glad that they have somebody to look at and learn and just be motivated and to see that us being a small country doesn’t mean that we can’t do big things. We did big things, and we’re going to keep doing big things, and I’m here to help everybody. And to anybody who needs my advice, I’m going to always give it”.