NBA hopeful Justinian Jessup has become The Hawks latest signing and the NBL's latest Next Star, after he signed with the club for the 2020-21 NBL season.
Recently finishing his senior NCAA season at Boise State University, where he etched his name in the record books with an incredible 325 three-point shots over four years, the 22-year-old is eligible for the NBA Draft in October where he will join fellow NBL Next Star LaMelo Ball.
If Jessup is drafted, it gives his NBA team the option to place him with The Hawks for the season. It would be similar to the 'draft and stash' model the New Orleans Pelicans used last season when Didi Louzada played with the Sydney Kings.
"It's a great opportunity to get NBA exposure while playing against tough competition," Jessup said. "I'm excited about playing for Coach Goorjian and all the young guys on the team. LaMelo playing last year was huge for the league and brought a lot of exposure (for the NBL) and I know it's going to be tough competition which I'm really looking forward to."
The ﬁrst player in Boise State history to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 150 steals and 50 blocks, Jessup is a big signing for The Hawks and the NBL.
Hawks head coach Brian Goorjian was excited to bring Jessup into the fold.
"I am very pleased that Justinian will be part of The Hawks program. He will give the team a real lift offensively, being a fantastic three-point shooter and a very good all-around player.
"He has a drive to play in the NBA and The Hawks will do everything possible to help him achieve his goal. He has a great work ethic and is an excellent teammate from all reports."
Jessup joins Emmett Naar, Deng Deng, Dan Grida, Deng Adel, Sam Froling, Isaac White, Tyler Harvey, Cam Bairstow, Max Darling and Justin Simon on The Hawks' roster for the upcoming season.