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European prospects eye Australian springboard to NBA

By KEN MAGUIRE
AP Sports Writer

There’s a new stopover for European prospects who hope their journeys lead to the NBA draft. Australia. The Next Stars program of the National Basketball League has groomed the likes of LaMelo Ball and Josh Giddey and has now added young European players to its ranks for the first time. Four of this season’s seven Next Stars are from Europe. French prospect Hugo Besson joined the New Zealand Breakers as a regular import player because the NBL team already had its assigned Next Star in compatriot Ousmane Dieng. Next Stars are paid by the league and assigned to a team with the dual goal of helping their squads while improving their NBA draft stock.

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