NEW YORK – Building on the success of last year’s NBA G League Ignite vs. Metropolitans 92 series, Ignite is once again hosting a premier international program for a pair of preseason games in the inaugural NBA G League Fall Invitational featuring the Perth Wildcats. Ignite welcomes the Wildcats to The Dollar Loan Center on Wednesday, Sept. 6 and Friday, Sept. 8.
The matchup will spotlight top NBA Draft prospects among both teams. McDonald’s All-Americans Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland, who are projected by ESPN as top 10 picks in the 2024 NBA Draft, highlight Ignite’s newest roster, while the Wildcats feature top international talent including National Basketball League (NBL) Next Stars participant Alexandre Sarr, a projected top 20 selection in next year’s draft, and ESPN four-star prospect Dontae Russo-Nance.
“The G League continues to grow as a platform for top talent from around the globe,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “With these preseason games against a storied and successful program in the Perth Wildcats, we’re excited to continue to showcase some of the best young prospects and top talent from around the globe. If last year’s games are any indication, this will be another electrifying display of young talent and a competitive preseason.”
Broadcast information will be announced at a later date. Ignite season ticket memberships are available now at ignite.gleague.nba.com/season-tickets, or by contacting the ticketing office at 702-645-4259 or email@example.com.
Based in Perth, Western Australia, the Wildcats are the most successful club in NBL history, with 10 championships and 16 Grand Finals appearances. Sarr, brother of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Olivier Sarr, looks to be the latest NBL Next Stars player to join alumni such as Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball and Oklahoma City’s Josh Giddey in the NBA. The team’s young talent also includes 2023 Basketball Without Borders Global camp participant Russo-Nance, plus Ben Henshall, who is competing in the 2023 NBA Academy Games in Atlanta July 5-9, and NBA Draft prospect David Okwera.
Former NBA player and three-time NBL MVP Bryce Cotton leads Perth’s veterans, along with Keanu Pinder, who will be making his Summer League debut with the Phoenix Suns, and 2023 Basketball Africa League champion Corey Webster and his fellow New Zealand FIBA World Cup teammate and brother Tai Webster.
“We are thrilled to have been invited to travel to Las Vegas in early September to compete in a two-game series against G League Ignite,” said Wildcats General Manager of Basketball Operations Danny Mills. “Taking our team and the organization to play on a global stage is an integral part of our long-term strategy as a club. We are incredibly excited and grateful that G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Ignite GM Anthony McClish have provided our club this opportunity to represent the city of Perth, the state of Western Australia and the NBL in what we hope is an ongoing collaboration.”
Along with Holland and Buzelis, Ignite’s latest roster includes five-star prospect Tyler Smith, NBA Academy Africa graduates Thierry Darlan and Babacar Sane, FIBA U19 World Cup Most Valuable Player Izan Almansa, two-year player London Johnson and Texas standout Dink Pate.
Ignite has produced 10 draft picks in the previous three seasons – the most by any program in that span – including four top 10 picks. Four Ignite players were selected in the 2023 NBA Draft, led by No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson (Portland Trail Blazers).
About NBA G League Ignite
NBA G League Ignite is a first-of-its-kind team dedicated to developing top young prospects in preparation for the NBA Draft. Based at The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nev., the roster includes elite players who are eligible for the NBA Draft and players in the early stages of their professional basketball careers as well as NBA and NBA G League veterans who serve as mentors to the team’s young talent. In addition to accelerated on-court development and competing for an NBA G League Championship, the team focuses on life skills training that includes financial literacy education, community service involvement and scholarship opportunities.