‘Wow, I’m an NBA player’: Aussie fulfils dream
THE NBL's growth as a production line for NBA talent continues to gain steam with news Boomer Isaac Humphries has been signed by the Atlanta Hawks for the remainder of the season.
Humphries, like many other Aussies, has taken the hard road to the NBA, joining the Sydney Kings after being passed over at the 2017 NBA draft and then plying his trade in Serbia and then the G-League (the NBA's second division), before getting his chance at the top level.
"Absolute dream come true... Wow, I'm an NBA player," Humphries tweeted after learning of the deal.
He joins 12 other Aussies in the NBA, Andrew Bogut (Golden State), Aron Baynes (Boston), Matthew Dellavedova and Deng Adel (Cleveland), Dante Exum and Joe Ingles (Utah), Thon Maker (Detroit), Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia), Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas) and Mitch Creek (Minnesota).
The terms of the contract means he will earn $6600 per day with the Hawks after a report claimed he will, be paid $66,000 ($US47,000) for his 10-day deal.
With the Hawks only having five more games before they reach the finish line on their 28-49 season, Humphries is looking at earning around $13,000 per game.
He said he was in "disbelief" after receiving the good news from his agent.
"I just stood up and my heart just started pounding," Humphries said.
"You think, like, how are you going to react when you find out you're going to be an NBA player, or you're going to get an NBA contract? I just had no idea how I'd react. I'd seen my friends and how they reacted. I just stood up in my empty apartment, and my heart just started pounding and pounding and pounding.
"I was in complete disbelief.
"I kinda wanted to cry, but I didn't. I don't know why. I just don't cry as a person. The fact that I was very close to crying means a lot to me."
The 21-year-old Sydney-sider is set to suit up for the injury-hit Hawks in San Antonio on Wednesday (AEST) and could see minutes, given Dewayne Dedmon, Miles Plumlee, Alex Poythress and Omari Spellman are all out, with both Taurean Prince and John Collins doubtful.
The 2018 NBL Rookie of the Year will line-up alongside basketball treasure Vince Carter, who made his NBA debut the same year Humphries was born.
Like Creek and Adel the 213 centimetre, 116 kilogram powerhouse impressed in the G-League.
His work for the Erie Bay Hawks - Atlanta's affiliate - was solid, with averages of 11.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 assists across 46 games, but it was his stunning performance in the G-League Showcase in December that set tongues wagging - he poured in 34 points on 15 of 21 shooting to go with 15 rebounds and five blocks in the Las Vegas game.
Humphries played two years at University of Kentucky and made his Boomers international debut in February, will wear No.8 for the Hawks.