‘A Real Cannon and an Israeli Pride’: Israel Celebrates Deni Avdija’s NBA Draft

19 November, 2020   |   2 weeks ago

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan congratulated Israeli basketball player Deni Avdija on being selected in ninth place by the Washington Wizards in the NBA Draft.

“You are a real cannon and an Israeli pride. From today, you are also our ambassador and we are all fans of Washington,” he said Thursday.

Avdija, 19, said at a news conference after his election that “being elected number nine is an honor. I’m super excited. I will continue to be with my feet on the ground. The group that chose me and believed in me – I will give everything for it. Wherever I go I try to be the best I can be. I was glad to see my dad’s excitement. I believe in my abilities to succeed in the NBA.”

“Israel is a small country, to represent the country and be in the highest spot is amazing,” the Israeli ball player told ESPN. “I’m super excited to take my game to the next level.”

As a player selected in 9th place, Avdija will pocket $3.7 million in the first season, $3.9 million in the second season and about $4.1 million in the third season.

The Boston Celtics selected Israeli Guard Yam Madar 47th in the draft.

Minister of Culture and Sports Hili Tropper Conveyed his “warm congratulations” to Avdija and Madar “on their impressive achievement.”

“Dear Deni and Yam, I wish you great success, you are convincing proof that perseverance and talent – lead to excellence. Proud of you! I really hope you meet on the floor of the best league in the world in the coming season,” he said.

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli player in the NBA. was selected 23rd overall in the 2009 NBA draft.