NBA Academy players on stage at NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Arizona’s Pac-12 Player of the Year Bennedict Mathurin is a Montreal native and attended the NBA Academy Latin America.

March Madness is here, and it’s one of the most exciting times of the year for basketball fans everywhere. For NBA fans, this time of year can serve as an introduction to some of the exciting prospects whose names will be called in the draft in the future.

A few of the players on the NCAA tournament scene got their start at the NBA Academy. Here’s a look at some of those players, whose names might be familiar to you as the madness progresses.

Benoît Mathurin (guard 6-6, Arizona)

NBA Academy Latin America

The 19-year-old sophomore from Montreal has put together one of the finest campaigns in American college basketball this season, averaging 17.4 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 37.6% from by 3 points. He was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-12 Tournament, and was selected as a second-team All-American by The Associated Press.

In addition to all the individual accolades, Mathurin helped lead Arizona to regular season and Pac-12 Tournament titles and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament South Region. The Wildcats started the season 21-0 for the first time in school history and are considered one of the national title favorites.

Oumar Ballo (center 7-0, Arizona)

NBA Academy Latin America

The 7-foot-0, 260-pound sophomore has also been a factor in Arizona’s dominating campaign, and his combination of size and athleticism could very well make him a player to watch in the future. The big man from Koulikoro, Mali, posted 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game this season, and shot 62.9 percent from the field.

His best performance of the season was a 21-point, 6-rebound performance in a win over Stanford on January 20. If Arizona cuts the nets in April, Ballo could end up being a big reason why.

Hyunjung Lee (6-7 goalie, Davidson)

NBA Global Academy

What if I told you that Lee, a junior from Yeok, South Korea, accomplished something at Davidson this season that even Stephen Curry couldn’t?

The NBA Global Academy product achieved the much-vaunted 50-40-90 mark this year: 50% shooting from the field, 40% from 3-point range, and 90% from the free throw line. He’s averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds and that field goal percentage (47%) is truly elite for a college guard.

Lee helped lead Davidson to a 27-6 regular season mark and an Atlantic-10 regular season title. The Wildcats earned a No. 10 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament, where they will face No. 7 Michigan State.

Interestingly enough, Davidson was also a No. 10 seed in 2008 – back when that kid from Curry led them to three upset wins and the last second of the Final Four. Things went pretty well for him after that.

Santiago Vescovi (6-3 guard, Tennessee)

NBA Academy Latin America and NBA Global Academy

The junior from Montevideo, Uruguay was named to the All-SEC first team after averaging 13.4 points, 3.1 assists and 4.5 rebounds this season. He also shot a conference-best 44.5 percent from 3-point range and had a knack for hitting the stretch.

Vescovi’s shot helped the Vols claim their first SEC tournament title since 1979 when they beat Texas A&M on Sunday. He scored 17 points in the game, including four 3s. Tennessee earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament South Region and is a popular choice to make a deep run.

Alex Ducas (guard 6-7, Saint Mary’s (CA))

NBA Global Academy

The Geraldton, Australia native has been a key contributor to Saint Mary’s offense this season, averaging 10.2 points while shooting 40% from the field. He helped lead the Gaels to a 25-7 mark, a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference (behind the dynastic Gonzaga) and a No. 16 ranking in the National Coaches’ Poll at the end of the regular season. .

Ducas was named to the All-WCC Second Team for his performance during the regular season, and he’ll be on display as 5th-seeded Saint Mary’s take on No. 12 Indiana in the first round in the East Region. NCAA Tournament.

Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (6-8 Forward, Baylor)

NBA Global Academy

The 6-8 junior from Douala, Cameroon won’t have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament this season after suffering a knee injury against Texas in February, but he was a key part of the championship team. Baylor National last season.

Tchamwa Tchatchoua has averaged 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds this season for the Bears, who have gone 27-6 this season and enter the NCAA Tournament as the No. Is.

Olivier-Maxence Prosper (6-8 Forward, Marquette)

NBA Academy Latin America

The Montreal rookie had an immediate impact on Marquette this season, averaging 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds as he helped the Golden Eagles to a 9th-place finish in the East Region.

Prosper had a season-high 22 points in a 92-64 win over Georgetown on Jan. 7 and added 18 in an 80-72 loss to Connecticut on Feb. 8.

Francisco Farabello (6-3 guard, Texas Christian)

NBA Global Academy

The Canada junior from Gomez, Argentina, averaged 4.9 points in 19.1 minutes for TCU this season as the Horned Frogs won 20 games and finished fifth in the Big 12 conference.

TCU earned a No. 9 seed in the South Region and will face No. 8 Seton Hall in the first round.

Aziz Bandaogo (7-0 Center, Akron)

NBA Academy Africa

The Dakar, Senegal native averaged 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.5 minutes for Mid-American Conference champion Akron, who finished 24-9 on the season.

The Zips earned a No. 13 seed in the East Region and will face No. 4 UCLA in the first round.