For the sixth straight year, IMG Academy basketball alumni will be swapping their collegiate jerseys for NBA colors after hearing their names called in the NBA Draft. On June 23, 2022, Mark Williams (C) was selected as the 15th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets, and Moussa Diabate (F) heard his name called by the Los Angeles Clippers as the 43rd overall pick.
Williams and Diabate are the 15th and 16th selections from the IMG program, respectively, and, with their picks, they solidify a third straight year for multiple Ascenders being selected in the Draft. Since 2017, the following IMG Academy alumni have been drafted:
- Jonathan Isaac - Orlando Magic (Round 1, Pick 6)
- Anfernee Simons - Portland Trailblazers (Round 1, Pick 24)
- Bruno Fernando - Philadelphia 76ers (Round 2, Pick 34) - now with the Houston Rockets
- Josh Green - Dallas Mavericks (Round 1, Pick 18)
- Kenyon Martin Jr. - Sacramento Kings (Round 2, Pick 52) - now with the Houston Rockets
- Jaden Springer - Philadelphia 76ers (Round 1, Pick 28)
- Jeremiah Robinson-Earl - New York Knicks (round 2, Pick 32) - now with the Oklahoma City Thunder
Williams, a Virginia Beach native, graduated from IMG in 2020 before heading to Duke, where he won the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year award after the 2021-22 season in which he averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. According to the Duke Chronicle, "In his two years, he also left a mark on the Duke record books, posting one of the highest single-season field goal percentages and block totals." Notably while at IMG Academy, Williams was named to the 43rd McDonald's All-American Game in 2020, was selected to participate in the 2020 Jordan Brand Classic prior to its cancellation, and was ranked as the No. 5 center in ESPN 100's rankings for the class of 2020 as a four-star center. Williams is the eighth first-rounder in IMG Academy program history.
Originally from Paris, France, Diabate most recently concluded his freshman year at Michigan before declaring for the Draft. Diabate, a class of 2021 graduate, was a part of the McDonald's All American team in 2021, was a Jersey Mike's Naismith High School All-American honorable mention his senior year, and was on the Spalding All-American first team after being a consensus five-star recruit. As a Wolverine, he was part of the All-Big Team Freshman Team in 2022, helped guide U-M to the 2022 NCAA Sweet 16, and averaged 9 points per game on the season. The Athletic recently published a story entitled "What Moussa Diabate Brings to the Los Angeles Clippers," and you can read the full feature here.
Interested in learning more about IMG Academy's basketball program and joining the ranks of players who have gone on to achieve their dreams of competing at the next level? Whether your journey takes you to an Ivy League program, to an esteemed Division 1 college, or to the NBA, IMG Academy has an option to help guide you on your next steps. Fill out a form through the links below to get started.