DOHA, Qatar (QBF Leagues / NBA): With Qatari young sensation Targuy ‘Teddy’ Ngombo, it was always a question of “When” rather than “If” he will break into the hallowed turf of the NBA.
Therefore, when the 22-year-old was picked by Dallas Mavericks as the 57th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft on Thursday as a part of a trade to Portland Trailblazers, it was only a matter of lot of things – the Al Rayyan spearhead’s enormous talent the foremost among them – moving to the logical next step.
Ngombo, thus becomes only the second player from the WABA-Gulf sub zones in FIBA Asia to get drafted by the NBA, Iranian giant center Hamed Haddadi’s recruitment by Memphis Grizzlies in 2008 being the first. Obviously Ngombo will be the first from the Qatar League to play the NBA.
International media is yet to be fully aware Ngombo’s potential and abilities – “Not too much is known about him yet though” screams a regular NBA columnist – but for those who have watched the 197-cm forward scorch the FIBA Asia circuit the last two years or so, it is not even a surprise.
“In a sense, you are right. We were just waiting for the confirmation of the news,” beamed Director of QBF Leagues Rashid Abdulla, as news tickled in from the Draft.
“Minnesota (Timberwolves) were the team originally that were interested in him (Ngombo). Their scouts along with the Assistant General Manager were present in Doha during the QBF season. We also had a scout in Manila during the 22nd FIBA Asia Champions Cup,” Abdulla added.
“Therefore we knew it was a matter of time before we was drafted. But the NBA Champions picking him is an icing on the cake,” he said.
For the record, Ngombo averaged 20.7 points per game in the QBF League and 16.3 points per game – the second highest among “local” players behind Fadi El Khatib’s 21.0 PPG – at Manila.
“Of course, we are all very excited,” Abdulla said.
“Finally we have a player from amongst us going to the NBA. Our player will gain more in exposure and the world will begin to look at us in a different perspective. It’ll work both ways,” he said.
“He (Ngombo) might have to spend a little more time in his work outs and may be play in Europe for a year or two, but he is surely moving in the right direction,” he added.
Ngombo himself is attending to some duties of personal nature due to which he couldn’t make it to witness his Draft.
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia