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Hukporti ready for the NBA right now: Hooley

23 Feb
2 mins read

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Melbourne United Media

Ariel Hukporti will be hoping to finish his third season as a Next Star with a championship.

As the NBL24 season nears its end, NBA Draft buzz has started to intensify.

One player firmly on NBA radars heading into this period is Melbourne United Next Star, Ariel Hukporti.

The dominating seven-footer has at times looked like one of the most unstoppable forces in the league, using his size and skill down low to put opponents on the wrong end of posters.

Across the course of the season, United have welcomed in personnel from the Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trailblazers, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat and New York Knicks to get a closer look at the Togolese/German skyscraper.

Having watched his progressional closely over his time with MU, Peter Hooley said he’s not surprised the prospect has received so much attention.

“We’ve seen how dominant Ariel Hukporti can be when JLA (Jo Lual-Acuil Jr) was out,” he said on the NBL Now Podcast.

“This guy’s a beast. This guy, you talk about (NBA) body ready, this guy has the most NBA ready body here in the NBL. 

“He’s an extreme athlete, the way he’s bounced back from an achilles injury (has been amazing). I believe that once he lands in the NBA that teams will work with him and he’ll have a big impact.”

This sentiment was echoed by co-host Jack Heverin.

“You won’t find a harder worker than Ariel Hukporti, so if anyone is going to make it work and get better at their game, it’ll be Ariel Hukporti.”

Currently, The Athletic has Hukporti slated as the 54th Pick in the Draft, while ESPN has him projected as the 55th Pick.

The only way to make sure you’re there to see the rest of his games with Melbourne United is to secure your seat to our Playoff Games.

Tickets are on sale now!


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