WEST WOLLONGONG, NSW — Former Boise State standout basketball player Justinian Jessup has signed with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Australia.
"It's a good situation first and foremost. Great coach, a good owner, good resources and I think with all the uncertainty with what's going to happen with the NBA next season if there's going to be a G-League or not," Jessup said. "I still have the ability to get drafted, so it's a good spot considering all that has been going on."
The Mountain West Conference's all-time three-point leader is still eligible to be drafted in the upcoming NBA Draft scheduled for October 16. If he were to be drafted, that NBA team would determine if Jessup would play in Australia or immediately join the NBA franchise.
"Depends on what the NBA team would want, you know they could draft and stash, so to speak and have them keep me over in Australia, or they could bring me over and buy out my contract and bring me back to the states. It's just up to them (NBA team if drafted)," he said.
The NBL continues to grow in basketball circles, producing current NBA players like Joe Ingles (Jazz), Terrance Ferguson (Thunder), Andrew Bogut (Warriors), as well as likely top-5 NBA Draft pick in October in LaMelo Ball.
"It's really exciting. Part of the reason is I think it's a good fit," Jessup said. "The coach is really big on development and the owner, Bryan Colangelo, is also really invested in developing the players that he has on the team, so that's a big part of the reason that I wanted to do this, is the guys are going to be invested in development."
Jessup was able to get an assist on what type of team and league he was joining by reaching out to former Boise State player Anthony Drmic, as well as former Boise State assistant coach John Rillie, who also played in the NBL.
"When I was in LA working out, I was seeing [Coach Rillie], cause he lives down there now. He knows everybody in that league, he played for my coach, so yeah, he really helped with the decision and said it was going to be a good fit for me and helped me out throughout the process, super grateful for him," Jessup said.
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