The 2020/2021 basketball season saw a new initiative, when the G-League Ignite team debuted to the world.
The Ignite is a new NBA G-League team created to allow high school players of a certain stature to forego college, and instead spend a year perfecting their skills in the NBA’s developmental league.
Allowing players to train under NBA-optimized circumstances, such as on an NBA-regulated court, with a 24-second shot clock, while also earning financial compensation, could open the door to more elite high school players going that route.
The G-League Ignite’s first season was viewed as a roaring success by the NBA community. Not only did the team make the playoffs, but two of their players – Jalen Green & Jonathan Kuminga – are both projected to become Top 5 NBA draft pick selections during next month’s NBA draft.
During the team’s inaugural season, the Ignite used Veo cameras for their practices.
Director of Operations, Kevin Tiller on Veo: “It was user-friendly. I could set it up, put it as high as I wanted it to be, and get a full view of the entire practice court.”
Tiller continued. “Obviously, the best thing about Veo is that it was able to move along with the ball and move with the team.”
Tiller also pointed out that the camera’s presence allowed for assistant coaches to help on drills rather than spend time behind a camcorder.
For a team like the Ignite, where progress and development are key, the added hands-on assistance only helps lay the foundation for these young players.
Green, an explosive 6’5 guard who draws comparisons to Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine, was considered somewhat of a raw project before the beginning of the season, given that draft experts were concerned about his level of self-creation.
His evolution was apparent throughout the year, however, as he averaged 17.9 points over 15 games with the Ignite, hitting over 36% of his three-pointers and creating shots off the dribble against a higher level of competition than he had ever met before.
Tiller revealed the athletic 19-year-old Green tested out dunks in practice that had his chin reach higher than the level of the cylinder.
As for Kuminga, the 18-year-old projects as a multi-purpose forward at the next level. Someone who can defend multiple positions, while also functioning as a playmaker and opportunistic scorer. Kuminga’s NBA-ready body and stat line of 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds make him an intriguing option to get selected as one of the first five players in July’s NBA Draft.
With Veo’s 180-degree angle and 4K lenses, the Ignite coaching staff never missed a beat when watching the duo work out on the court.
“I remember being at VCU, I’d record the one side of the court and then the other side, and the coach would go “Did you get that?!” and I’d be like “No”, so with Veo there’s not that problem. We’re able to get both,” Tiller said.
“Just making things easier for the coaches, you want to make sure you capture everything they need. That’s what Veo allowed us to do,” Tiller concludes.