Basketball: NZ Breakers' French 'Next Star' Hugo Besson confirms entry in 2022 NBA draft

Hugo Besson in action for the Breakers.
Hugo Besson in action for the Breakers. Photo credit: Photosport

NZ Breakers guard Hugo Besson has officially entered this year's NBA Draft.

The Frenchman will join teammate, countryman and fellow 'Next Star' Ousmane Dieng, who last week declared himself available for selection by one of the 30 NBA teams at Brooklyn in June.

After a slow start to the season, Besson, 20, has been one of the few highlights for the embattled Breakers, who are currently anchored at the bottom of the Australian NBL standings with their worst-ever record.

Used primarily off the bench, his scoring and playmaking have steadily improved throughout his team's campaign. 

With one game remaining in the season, Besson boasts solid averages of 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in just under 28 minutes per contest, despite woeful shooting percentages (38.5 field goals, 30.6 three-point).

Besson is projected by many American outlets as a potential first-round pick, hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous 'Next Stars' LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets) and former Breakers guard RJ Hampton (Orlando Magic).

He had originally intended declaring for last year's draft, before an ankle injury prompted a change of plans that led him to the NZ club, where he believes he's taken his game to the next level.

"My whole game has improved as a player, in defence especially," Besson told ESPN. "Also, my game is more creative - I'm not just a scorer, like I used to be.

"The physicality of the league was a big challenge for me in the beginning, especially in pre-season. Now I think I'm doing pretty good, I'm trying to be the best player I can be."