Projected No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft Matas Buzelis signs with G League Ignite

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Born in 2004, young Matas Buzelis jumped from being a five-star high school prospect, to participating in the 2023 McDonald’s All-American Game in March, to just recently signing for the NBA G League Ignite, as it has been announced by the team’s General Manager Anthony McClish this Wednesday. 

“It’s a dream come true to join Ignite,” Buzelis said with excitement. “I have the opportunity to develop in a professional system as I continue to strive toward my goal of playing in the NBA. I look forward to joining the team in Henderson and getting to work.

“I want to thank my coaches, trainers and teammates for preparing me for this opportunity. I also want to thank my family for their endless love and support throughout my journey.”

Check out some of the 18-year-old’s highlights in his path to the G League:

The Chicago native, who’s parents both played professional basketball in Lithuania, is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft as he was selected to be a part of the World Team for the 2022 Nike Hoop Summit and awarded the Most Valuable Player of the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp this past February.

Back when he was in high school, he played his senior year at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, and was crowned the Player of the Year after averaging 15.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 43.1% from the deep, and 53.7% from field goal shots.

The rising star guided his squad to the Final Four of GEICO Nationals with a 22-8 record.

Buzelis will be a part of a Ignite’s roster that is star-packed for the 2023/24 campaign, joining prospects like Dink Page, London Johnson, Babacar Sane and Thierry Darlan. The G League team has been a platform that has exported great players into the NBA, like Jalen Green to the Houston Rockets (No. 2 pick in 2021) and Jonathan Kuminga to the Golden State Warriors. (No. 7 pick also in 2021).

The Ignite has been one of the most succesful programs of recent times, as they’ve had a total of six NBA Draft picks in the last couple of years.

Top prospect Ron Holland also announced he will be a part of the G League Ignite next season

The No. 2-ranked senior in the class of 2023 for high school basketball has also shared the news recently that he’s joining the G League Ignite this summer. Ron Holland told the press that it has been quite the journey.

“This process was not easy,” the young talent told ESPN. “At times it was scary because at times I had no idea where I would be.”

However, Holland is now certain he has made the right decision, as the Ignite has proved to be the best trampoline towards professional basketball.

“The G League will help me reach my potential as a basketball player and prepare me for the NBA,” he said. “To have a long career, I need to prepare my body and improve my skills as I continue to try to win games. They have a program to help develop my body and my game.

“I know I have to work on being a more consistent shooter, along with my footwork and ball handling, so I can score in space on the perimeter against a set defender.”