Deni Avdija impresses in NBA regular season debut

The 19-year-old Israeli baller called his first NBA game a “dream come true.”

By Joseph Wolkin

Deni Avdija is officially an NBA starter. The 6′ 9″ Israeli forward was one of the five Washington Wizards who walked onto the court for the team’s 2020-21 NBA tip-off against the Philadelphia 76ers last week.

The 19-year-old called his first NBA game a “dream come true.” He scored seven points in 28 minutes of play, shooting a perfect game on the night from beyond the 3-point mark.

His first 3-pointer came with 7:08 left in the first quarter, followed by another in the third quarter. Avdija’s highlights included a behind-the-back pass to guard Bradley Beal, showing off his diverse skill set.

What impressed people most about Avdija in his official NBA start was his raw defensive ability. He had four rebounds during the match up, plus a steal.

The Wizards made a Hebrew Twitter account after signing Avdija, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

As No. 9 jerseys begin to sell across the globe, Avdija is thankful for the opportunity to pursue his dream.

“I’m going to represent [Israel] the best I can,” he told World Israel News in a preseason press conference. “In the end, I’m going to have my ups and downs. The Israeli fans will be behind me all of the time. I’m going to do the best I can.”

Read  WATCH: Jewish NBA G-League star scores career-high 34 points

Avdija averaged an impressive 21.9 points per game with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli professional league.

Avdija, who is a forward, is considered to be a major steal in the draft due to his speed and ability to attack on both offense and defense. Now that his contract is signed, he’s ready to make history as the highest first-round NBA draft pick in the Jewish state’s history.