Home » NBL commentator Peter Hooley says draft prospect Johnny Furphy ‘could be something special’ | Sporting News Australia

NBL commentator Peter Hooley says draft prospect Johnny Furphy ‘could be something special’ | Sporting News Australia

NBL commentator Peter Hooley says draft prospect Johnny Furphy ‘could be something special’ | Sporting News Australia

For yet another year, it looks as though an Australian player will be taken in the first round of the NBA draft. 

But in 2024, the name read out may not be the one people expected when the college basketball season started, with Kansas Jayhawks player Johnny Furphy rocketing up draft boards since the start of 2024. 

Furphy started the season as a little-known bench player, but some solid play landed him a spot in the starting lineup, where he has quickly exploded for Kansas, becoming one of their best players. 

His rise has been dramatic, and it has many in Australian basketball excited, with NBL commentator Peter Hooley telling Just Bricks that he thinks Furphy ‘could be something special’.

Hooley says Furphy has unlimited potential

When Johnny Furphy was first recruited to Kansas, he was an unranked prospect, who had reclassified following a strong showing at NBA Academy games in 2023. 

While initially thought to be a solid player with some NBA potential, his rise has been meteoric, shooting up draft boards to become a borderline consensus first-round pick. 

According to NBL commentator and former player Peter Hooley, Furphy’s talent has been apparent for some time now, but even the most seasoned analysts did not predict such a successful freshman campaign. 

“We were aware of him. I was at the Summer League in Vegas and Liam Santamaria, the general manager of the Next Stars, I think he was at the Peach Jam or a couple of things before Summer League began, and Johnny Furphy was there and he was balling out,” Hooley told Just Bricks.

“That was kind of the first time Australians had really heard of him on that stage. They realised ‘Hang on, this kid could be something special,’ and you go from a few eyes on you now, not just here, but you’ve got a few eyes in the States on you.

“You just decide to commit to Kansas and you sign to Kansas, okay, you’re going there and people say, ‘He’s going to take a couple of years to mature.’

“Now he’s at a point where I think he’s nearly averaging double figures, he’s had a couple of nine, 10 rebound games and all of that. And you’ve gone from, ‘I’m on the scene, I’ve had some big dunks in performances in these tournaments before college, now all of a sudden I’m on the radar.'”

With the bright lights of March Madness fast approaching, Kansas are shaping up in a major way, and Furphy might be the keenest of all.