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Frank Ntilikina’s made a quick stop in Brooklyn to pick up his Knicks hat before heading back to France. In the midst of a daunting schedule, the 18-year old decided to fly to New York for the NBA Draft and then return to the French League Finals for a series-deciding Game 5.
Oh, and, the Knicks selected Ntilikina with the No. 8 overall pick on Thursday night.
“Actually you can't realize until it happens,” Ntilikina stated after shaking Adam Silver’s hand. “Like I've been actually playing my season with my team back in France, and when the last game, the fourth game with my team ended, like I just thought to realize I was getting drafted in two days, you know. More and more the emotion started to come into my head and into my body, and when I heard my name, it was just great. It was just a blessing. It was actually a lot of motivation to me to go in the gym and work harder. So I think you can't even realize how it will be to hear your name."
The 6’5” French basketball prodigy is playing professional ball overseas but he will call New York in the near future. Ntilikina possesses serious potential with a long wingspan, athletic abilities, and a defensive approach to the game.
“Like I said first, I think great defender, willing to defend, willing to play hard, and to give intensity to the team and the offense. Like I'm a team player. I always try to give the best to the team no matter what happens. To me the most important thing is to get the win. I like to shoot it, to pass it, and then play pick-and-roll,” Ntilikina explained.
At 2 AM, Ntilkina will jump on a plane back to France but the first step to his NBA career is in the books. New York grabbed the point guard of the future and another piece of the puzzle for the franchise.