If you don’t know the name Josh Giddey now, the chances are you will eventually.

Giddey has been earmarked as one of Australia’s next basketball superstars.

In his debut season in the NBL the 18-year-old has already shown why NBA teams are watching him so closely ahead of this year’s draft, and the impressive Melbourne-born teenager could well be heading to the Tokyo Olympics to represent his country in July.

There’s a lot of hype, but experts and those closest to him say it is justified.

A 6 foot, 8 inches (203 centimetres) point guard Giddey has a unique set of skills — he’s athletic, his ball handling is right up there and his shooting is developing.


But it’s his passing and vision that sets him apart from his rival NBA hopefuls. Or, as mentor and NBL legend Andrew Gaze puts it, his “basketball IQ is off the charts”.

“There’s a lot of kids that come through that have got enormous talent, but he’s got this skill set where he’s 6’8″, so he’s got incredible size,” Gaze, who coached Giddey as a junior, said.

“He grew up playing the point guard position, so his ball-handling skills are extraordinary. But he’s also got something which is very hard to teach and that’s an understanding of the game, court vision, and the ability to play a pass ahead of the game and know where people are going to be.”

Last year, Giddey became the youngest player to wear the Boomers jersey since Ben Simmons, who has since already become a two-time NBA All Star.

In a vote of confidence in the NBL, Giddey chose to stay in Australia to launch his career rather than follow the well-worn route of American college basketball.

“I am very happy with the decision,” Giddey told the ABC.

“It was a tough one for me because I was tossing up between college and the NBL and ultimately I decided the NBL could fast track my development playing against grown men, being in a professional environment at such a young age and learning from the experience.”

A student of the game

In the off-season he added about 10 kilograms to his lanky frame and, importantly, he’s a student of the game.

He has shown a willingness to learn from his more experienced teammates, arriving to training first and leaving last.

“It’s just a work ethic thing,” he explained.

Giddey is listed as the same height as LeBron James.(

ABC News: Simon Tucci


“I think when I was younger, I never really took it that serious and I always kind of just had team practice and I left straight away and went home, but now … I’m young, a lot of these guys are looking to come after me and I’ve got to kind of get better, because there’s certain things I’m working on a lot.”

Giddey identified shooting as his biggest area to improve and his numbers playing for the Adelaide 36ers are evidence that his practice is starting to pay off.

“I think the three-point shot is obviously the big one for me,” he said.

“At the start a year I was really down on confidence, teams would kind of dare me to shoot and I honestly couldn’t hit one. And then I texted Jamie Pearlman, our assistant [coach]. I said ‘we got to get in the gym, I got to start working on this’.

“And ever since then, it’s kind of been on an upwards trend.”

Giddey said Australian NBA veteran Joe Ingles had been a mentor.

Joe Ingles (centre) is part of a Boomers core that boasts plenty of NBA talent.(



“Joe first reached out to me when I signed with Adelaide and kind of just welcomed me,” he said.

“But then when we started playing he’s been in constant touch with me, just giving me advice, helping me out with little things because he came through the same pathway as me with the NBL system.”

First-round pick?

Basketball runs deep in the Giddey family — dad Warwick and mum Kim played in the NBL and WNBL.

Gaze played alongside Warwick for the Melbourne Tigers and has known Josh for most of his life.


“The comparison that I’ve made with him is one of the greatest players in the world right now in Luka Doncic,” Gaze said, likening Giddey to the young Slovenian star who plays for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.

“He’s got those types of skills and that versatility that he brings to the game which makes him special and is an attractive option for not just NBA teams but any team in the world.”

Gaze believed Giddey is good enough to be picked up in the first round of the NBA draft but regardless of how he gets there, he said Giddey’s potential could see him enjoy a long and successful stint in America.


“I think he has the potential to be talked about in the same breath as we have with Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matty Dellavedova [and] Andrew Bogut.”

On the back of some impressive performances in the NBL to date this season Giddey has been picked in the 24 man Boomers squad for the Tokyo Olympics in July.

Boomers Coach Brian Goorjian is said to be strongly considering picking Giddey on the final roster.

“It’s the highest honour you can have as an Australian basketballer and to see that names have in [the squad], you know, Ben Simmons, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, those type of guys and to be in the same squad as them it’s it’s pretty cool,” Giddey said.