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Former Illinois Basketball Guard Makes NBA All-Rookie First Team



Former Illinois Basketball Guard, Brandin Podziemski, holding the Big Ten Championship trophy
Mar 6, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Brandin Podziemski (0) holds the Big 10 Championship trophy as he leads teammates through the crowd on the floor of the State Farm Center after a 74-72 win over Iowa. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Former Illinois Basketball Guard Makes All-Rookie First Team

Former Illinois Basketball guard, Brandin Podziemski, was announced to the NBA All-rookie first team. Podziemski was the 19th overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft and became a rotational piece on the Golden State Warriors. In his rookie year, Brandin started 28 total games for the Warriors and averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. The Wisconsin native shot an efficient 38.5% from the 3-point line and gained valuable experience alongside the likes of Steph Curry and Chris Paul. He even scored 23 points against the hottest name in basketball, Anthony Edwards. Brandin Podziemski was a strong get for Illinois Basketball. Despite not playing his freshman year, there was important context to the situation and Podziemski spoke on that.

“An Extended Summer” with Illinois Basketball.

In the interview above, a reporter asked him how he handled his situation in Illinois. The former Illini guard stated that his time in Champaign was “very helpful” and that he used his time not playing as “an extended summer”. For context, Brandin Podziemski was on a team that won the Big Ten regular season title and had a team of experienced college basketball guards. Alfonso Plummer and Trent Frazier were all-Big Ten players, so it is not like he sat behind nobodies on a failing team. Additionally, Podziemski credits his time on the scout team to his development. College Basketball players do make jumps during their sophomore year because of this circumstance.

Unfortunately for Illinois basketball, that jump was on a different team. Santa Clara provided Podziemski with the keys to the offense. Though Brandin played incredibly well, his team lost in the first round of the NIT. That same offensive freedom would not have been present at Illinois.

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