Australian teenager Johnny Furphy becomes instant millionaire thanks to NBA dream come true

Young Australian Johnny Furphy has made his debut in the NBA, selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 35th pick in the draft.

The 19-year-old former junior footballer joins the world's top basketball league after just one year in the American college system at the University of Kansas.

Furphy was actually selected by the San Antonio Spurs, but was later traded to the Pacers who made the 36th pick (and used a “cash consideration” to get the Melbourne teenager).

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Furphy's selection follows former Perth Wildcats import Alex Sarr being taken by the Washington Wizards with the second pick and Illawarra Hawks young American AJ Johnson joining the Milwaukee Bucks with the 23rd pick.

Sarr, who skipped college to join the NBL Next Stars program, was on track to go No. 1 but the Atlanta Hawks opted to select fellow Frenchman Zaccharie Risacher.

“We grew up together, competing against each other, and now we're here in New York for the draft and it's a day to make our dream come true, you know? » Risacher said of his French connection with Sarr before the draft.

” It is special. “

Sarr held back tears after being drafted as he paid tribute to his older brother Olivier Sarr, who went undrafted in 2021 before signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Furphy received an exclusive invitation to the green room for the first round of the draft, but had to wait until the second round the next day to be selected.

Furphy has had a meteoric rise. Credit: Getty Images
Furphy shows off his custom-made suit and the map of Australia (and NBA players) inside. Credit: Getty Images

Furphy paid tribute to his fellow Australian basketball players with a bespoke suit for the big occasion.

“I'll be wearing a suit with all the Australian NBA players, who have played in the NBA and my name will be highlighted,” he told 7NEWS ahead of the draft.

The selection guarantees the young man instant wealth.

Last year's 35th pick got a four-year, partially guaranteed $8 million contract and there were similar numbers for the 36th draft pick.

Furphy's brother Joe is an AFL player with Geelong but is yet to play a senior game.

Joe was granted leave from the club to join his family in New York.

Furphy – who played Australian Rules in the Yarra Junior Football League for Fitzroy Juniors – believes his footy has helped him throughout his NBA career.

“I played until I was about 16. Playing the sport has definitely helped my basketball be able to absorb contact,” he said.

Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze is already a big fan of Furphy.

“(He's) a guy who didn't come out of nowhere, but it's been a meteoric rise for someone who is now considered a first-round pick,” he told 7NEWS.

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