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Thunder credit Josh Giddey’s background for shaping him as a player

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Josh Giddey grew up in Australia in a household dominated by basketball, and the Oklahoma City Thunder believe that background has helped mold him into the player he is today.

To start, both of Giddey’s parents played professionally in Australia.

His father, Warrick, was a longtime member of the Melbourne Tigers in the National Basketball League while his mother, Kim, played with the Tigers in the Women’s National Basketball League. His sister, Hannah, even played at Oral Roberts University.

By the age of 12, Giddey emerged as an exceptional talent in Australia and eventually joined the NBA Academy in Canberra. He impressed at several basketball camps along the way and earned Rookie of the Year honors last year in the NBL.

Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault can see why Giddey has been so successful.

His intelligence, feel and instincts, I think it makes a lot of sense when you look at the way that he came up. He comes from a basketball family. He was around the game. There is great passion for basketball in Australia that he was exposed to from a very young age. There is great pride in the national team there that he has been involved with from a very young age. I think that certainly helps and I think that is a huge part of who he is as a player and as a person.

Giddey finished off the preseason on Thursday by nearly notching a triple-double, recording 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He has emerged as one of the most exciting rookies this preseason, thanks in large part due to his passing and playmaking ability alone.

The sixth overall pick has often been compared to fellow Australian Ben Simmons, and some even believe he is better than him at this stage of his career. Certainly, the Thunder wouldn’t be upset if he lived up to that comparison.

Oklahoma City begins the regular season Wednesday vs. the Utah Jazz.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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