From Biddy Ball at Red Energy Arena to the NBA, today marks Dyson Daniels’ first NBA game playing for the New Orleans Pelicans.
To celebrate this momentous day, we have installed a Dyson Daniels height chart in the main concourse of the arena so young athletes and basketball fans can see how they stack up to Dyson, who measures in at 6’7” (201cm) tall!
Dyson’s family came to Red Energy Arena to launch the chart and they sat down with our team before the big game to chat about how Dyson’s going in the US.
How is Dyson settling in with the Pelicans?
Ricky: He’s going well, he’s adjusted to the town and it’s basically a lot of training at the moment so he’s getting out a bit, dining a bit and things like that so he’s adapted well. So far with the basketball he’s only just starting and that’s a different side – so he’s going to take a bit of time I think.
Has Dyson adjusted to all the training and NBA lifestyle with ease?
Brikitta: I’d say it’s been easy for him, because it’s very similar to what he’s been doing. He’s used to training every day, twice a day since AIS (Australian Institute of Sport), so it’s probably just a little bit more full on. I wouldn’t say easy, but it hasn’t been a major adjustment for him.
Ricky: The training camp in the beginning is intense so they really get after it there. Once they get started there’s not a lot of training involved once the game starts so they play 3-4 games a week and then he travels in between, so any training is more video and a few things on the court – so not full on training.
Brikitta: I would say his Ignite year, that first year, he well and truly experienced NBA extensively and he always seems to be wearing new clothes every day – we always see him on Instagram in a different T-shirt, with different shoes!
Dash: I’ll be going over there soon, so I’ll take all his shoes!
Ricky: He’s definitely changed a bit, but that’s good because coming into the NBA, fashion seems to be a big part of it.
How excited are you about Dyson’s first NBA game?
Ricky: It’s going to be great to see him get out there and play his official game. I’m looking forward to it, I’m glad that we’re doing this now so I can have some me time and sit back and watch!
Brikitta: My analogy is that it’s like starting year 7 – they’ve been to primary school and they know what it’s all about, but now there’s this next step to year 7. What are the big year 12s going to do to the year 7s – so he’s starting again. He’s got the skills but now he’s with the big boys, so that’s the analogy I use for it!
Ricky: We don’t know how much he’ll be on the court at first, the rotations are just on the day. They already know the starting 5, but after that they don’t know who’s rotating in and out.
Brikitta: From what Dyson’s told me you’re on the bench and as soon as you get called up you have to be ready to go.
What advice would you give any young Bendigo basketballers dreaming about playing in the NBA or WNBA?
Ricky: I would say for anyone who wants to make it to the highest level that they can, you have to put in the work – the extra work. A lot of players train and do what’s asked of them from the coaches, but they might not go out there and put in that extra work on their own – so you really have to do that in order to get to that next level. You need to be disciplined, make time and just get out there and do it.
Brikitta: Train, train, train and be a part of it all. If you give your parents the idea that you love it, your parents will get you to the places you need to be. Also, the last few years we were asked so many questions about respect, personality, the type of kid he is, the education – so if you’re thinking of the big time, they are researching all your background too so keep that in mind.
Ricky: Take your garden bed out and put the court in…it happens!
Congratulations to Dyson and the Pelicans who won their opening season game against the Brooklyn Nets today! Final score 130-108.