Tosan Evbuomwan is on the brink of joining an elite group of British ballers after the Geordie star was snapped up by NBA giants Memphis Grizzlies.
The Western Conference franchise have signed the Newcastle Eagles Academy graduate to a 10-day contract.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Tosan, one that he has earned through hard work and consistency”, said Ian MacLeod, Eagles Community Foundation Development Manager.
“Memphis actually wanted to draft him in the summer, in a draft and stash arrangement, but he chose to go undrafted and earn his stripes in the G-League.
“He backed himself and as always, has done the hard work required to achieve his goals.
“Hopefully this is the start of a long NBA career for him. If not, he will earn another opportunity, of that I am sure”.
And should he suit up for his new club, Evbuomwan would join Londoner OG Anunoby as one of only two current NBA players hailing from the UK.
Memphis face Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday (1am GMT) — the first of three games in three days for the struggling Grizzlies.
That hectic schedule, which includes a trip to Boston Celtics on Sunday, suggests the versatile forward has every chance of taking his bow in the sport’s biggest league.
And Evbuomwan — fresh from a standout spell with Motor City Cruise — will relish the challenge following a star-studded college career.
The former Newcastle Royal Grammar School pupil narrowly missed out on the 2023 NBA draft after failing to emerge as one of last summer’s top 60 picks.
But hours after the dust settled on one of the biggest events on the basketball calendar it was revealed that Detroit had signed Evbuomwan to a free agent contract.
The former Newcastle United trainee began his professional career representing the Pistons at the NBA 2K24 Summer League in Las Vegas.
A move to Motor City Cruise followed and consistent numbers for Detroit’s G league affiliate continued to catch the eye of NBA scouts nationwide.
Evbuomwan arrives in Memphis averaging 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists — shooting an impressive 57% from the field.
And those stats meant a whole host of NBA teams were prepared to table bids for the talented Tynesider before Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins made his move.
A Memphis debut would see Evbuomwan become only the eighth UK player to come through the British basketball system and graduate to the NBA.
But nobody within the Eagles organisation or his US college Princeton will be surprised if the energetic all-rounder realises his ultimate dream.
Named to the NCAA South Region All-Tournament Team after leading the Tigers to the Sweet Sixteen last season, Evbuomwan accumulated an impressive list of accolades during the 2022-23 campaign.
The 22-year-old was named National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 13 First Team, Ivy League Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Ivy Madness All-Tournament Team, Unanimous Ivy League First Team, Academic All-Ivy League, College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District and London Basketball Classic MVP.
In addition, Evbuomwan’s 161 assists in 2022-23 tied the Princeton program record for most assists in a season and his 323 career assists rank sixth on the Tigers’ all-time list.
Evbuomwan also joined the 1,000-point club in 2022-23, and his 1,033 points ranks 34 all-time in school history.
One of last summer’s most talked about hoopers first picked up a basketball nine years ago after impressing as a footballer and as an athlete.
As a 16-year-old he hooked up with MacLeod and starred for the Academy team in the EABL before earning international recognition.
And the academically gifted former Royal Grammar School pupil moved to Ivy league College Princeton following his A-Levels in 2019.
Everyone at the Eagles will be watching Tosan ‘s latest moves closely and proudly, wishing him the best of luck as he takes the next step in his professional basketball career.