HENDERSON, Nev. – Guard Thierry Darlan, a top international prospect and an NBA Academy Africa graduate from the Central African Republic, has signed with NBA G League Ignite, General Manager Anthony McClish announced today.
“First of all, I would like to thank God for everything he has done for me and my family. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity,” Darlan said. “It’s always been a goal of mine to play in the NBA and I feel that G League Ignite is the best step in that direction. I’ll have the opportunity to grow on and off the court, while playing in one of the top leagues in the world along with top prospects and veterans. I want to thank my family, friends and the NBA Academy for their support and guidance over the years. I wouldn’t be in this position without them.”
The 19-year-old Darlan becomes the sixth NBA Academy graduate to sign with Ignite and the third from NBA Academy Africa, an elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal, for top high school-age prospects from across Africa. Darlan was a teammate of fellow 2023-24 Ignite player Babacar Sane at NBA Academy Africa.
Darlan participated in several high-profile competitions and events after joining NBA Academy Africa in 2021. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 Basketball Without Borders Africa camp in Cairo. Darlan also led his team to the championship at the 2022 NBA Academy Games in Atlanta, where he scored 32 points in the semifinals.
In addition, Darlan was one of 12 NBA Academy Africa prospects to play in the 2022 Basketball Africa League (BAL) season as part of BAL Elevate, competing for Finals runner-up Petro de Luanda (Angola). He also represented the Central African Republic at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers, averaging 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in three games.
Darlan joins London Johnson, Dink Pate and Sane on Ignite’s 2023-24 roster as the latest group of top national and international prospects preparing for the NBA Draft. Ignite has produced three top 10 NBA Draft picks in the previous two years – the most by any program in that span – in Jalen Green (2021, No. 2, Houston Rockets), Jonathan Kuminga (2021, No. 7, Golden State Warriors) and fellow NBA Academy graduate Dyson Daniels (2022, No. 8, New Orleans Pelicans). Ignite has had a total of six NBA Drafts picks in the last two years, which matches the highest total for a program in that period.
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.