Shock picks made on Vietnam Basketball Association's Draft Day

By VnExpress   June 15, 2017 | 04:08 pm GMT+7
Shock picks made on Vietnam Basketball Association's Draft Day
Jimmy Kien (3rd,L) played for Danang Dragons in VBA 2016. Photo by VnExpress

Last year’s star player Jimmy Kien was left until last as teams selected their quotas of foreign players with Vietnamese origin.

Six teams signed up for the Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA)'s 2017 season on Wednesday on the official Draft Day for the country's first professional basketball league.

Draft Day is an annual event where teams take turns to select players, including a maximum of two foreigners with Vietnamese origins.

Thang Long Warriors, the youngest team to be playing this year, were the first to pick and surprised many by selecting Justin Young.

Last year's star player Jimmy Kien, who led the Danang Dragons to the championship, had been widely tipped to be the number one pick, but the Australian-born player was selected last by the Saigon Heat.  

With nine picks in total, three teams decided to hold on to current players and forego a second round pick in the draft. The Danang Dragons stuck with Stefan Nguyen Tuan Tu, the Cantho Catfish hung on to Sang Dinh and the Hanoi Buffaloes renewed their contract with Ryan Arnold.

Under VBA regulations, teams can still swap players after Draft Day, and will be recruiting Vietnamese nationals to strengthen their squads soon.

The VBA enjoyed a successful debut season last year, with five teams from four big cities vying for the title.