Australian point guard William McDowell-White has submitted paperwork to the league office to make himself eligible for the 2019 NBA draft.
“My plan is to stay in the draft this year,” McDowell-White told ESPN. “I feel like I am ready to pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.”
Coming into the year ranked in the ESPN 100, McDowell-White had a difficult season, as a November foot injury suffered in Germany forced him to miss an extensive amount of time. After healing from the injury, McDowell-White will come to the U.S. at the beginning of May for workouts, and he’s hoping to be invited to one of the NBA combines in Chicago.
“It was my first time dealing with an injury, so it was obviously frustrating not being on the floor with my teammates,” McDowell-White said. “After getting my foot fully healthy, I feel like I am ready to attack this pre-draft process with everything I’ve got.”
McDowell-White had a breakout season in 2017-2018, averaging 13 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals per game in the German second division for Baunach. He declared for the 2018 draft before eventually withdrawing.
He was expected to split time between Brose Bamberg in the BBL (first division), the FIBA Champions League, and the second-division team this season, before the injury derailed those plans. Nevertheless, at 6-foot-5, McDowell-White still has intrigue as a big point guard prospect with outstanding instincts and feel. He’s likely to be a hot name for NBA teams to study on the pre-draft workout circuit.
“Teams have always been impressed by my ability to make everyone around me better and my overall playmaking skills, but I’ve really taken time to focus on becoming a knock-down shooter as well,” McDowell-White said.
McDowell-White is hoping to join an extensive list of Australians currently playing in the NBA. In the 2018-19 season, 13 Australians saw NBA minutes, tied with Canada for most international players in the NBA.
“Australians all play with a chip on their shoulders, and a certain amount of toughness,” McDowell-White said. “Being the next one drafted would be a great honor. Obviously, we have had stars like Ben Simmons get drafted, but even the less-heralded Aussies — guys like Joe Ingles, Jonah Bolden, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes — have had great success in the NBA and are playing integral roles on playoff teams.”
Yassin Idbihi, coordinator of the Bamberg youth program, said he supports McDowell-White in the next stage of his career.
“William is one of the most talented young players we have had at Bamberg,” Idbihi said. “On top of that, he’s a tremendous kid, and all of his teammates thoroughly enjoyed playing with him. I have no doubt he will have a great professional career.”