Jonathan Kuminga wants to be a mentor for the future choice of the first round Thierry Darlan


Kuminga, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who was one of the top high school hopefuls in the United States at the Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey, started his career well in the NBA after being drafted seventh in 2024.

Most 20-year-olds would settle for 137 regular season appearances in the NBA, 26 playoffs and a championship ring in two seasons, but Kuminga believes he hasn’t yet met the expectations of others when it comes to fame.

Kuminga told ESPN at Basketball Camp Without Borders in South Africa, "This coming season is definitely the year.

"Many people expect so much from me - and from myself; I expect so much. It’s a lot of pressure, but I don’t really pay attention to the noise.

"The pressure will always be there. It’s just [for] me to go and play."

Jonathan Kaminga already has an NBA champion ring in his name, only the second youngest player to win one, but believes he has not yet met expectations.

Other NBA players who will be coaching at BWB Africa this year include Bam Adebayo of Miami Heat, Jalen Suggs of Orlando Magic, Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the great Senegalese Tacko Fall, who recently played for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Summer League.

Kuminga, who was born in Goma, DR Congo, and moved to the United States to play basketball in high school in 2016, was at BWB to coach 80 of the most talented African players in the high school - 40 boys and 40 girls.

Some campers had expectations similar to those of Kuminga. Indeed, the most useful player of last year, Central African Thierry Darlan, who currently plays for the former Kuminga team, G League Ignite, should be a first-round choice in 2024. 

"Heaven is the limit. You never know who’s watching. You never know who’s there who’s going to be watching you one day. Be aware and work hard."

By the end of the camp, he had transmitted at least some of his wisdom. Reflecting on their conversation, Darlan told ESPN: "I spoke to him on the last day. He said:" You are always welcome. Stay by my side; keep working and keep pushing. He told me to be me."

The 2024 Boys MVP, Khaman Maluach, had an equally positive experience of Kuminga. The 16-year-old South Sudanese player, also a pillar of the Basketball Africa League, said, "I asked him what really motivated him because he was in my place once and now he’s an NBA champion, so I asked him.

"[His motivation was] his family and Africa. He really puts Africa forward... and that’s what I’m using right now to motivate me."

Kuminga may still have celebrity dreams, but now that he’s already tasted success, there’s a priority he places above anything he could achieve in basketball.

"The success [that I dream of] only grows as a person – there is nothing more important than growing as a person," he said.

"As long as you grow as a person, it opens many doors. Now you save what to do on the field and hand holding you know what to do off the field - just [growing] up." 

Kuminga said he hoped to be the mentor he once needed and help prepare Darlan, who was also coaching at the camp, for the weight he would carry on his shoulders in the years to come.

"In fact, I want to spend time with him and not really guide him, but tell him what it’s all about with Ignite, what it’s about being drafted and being an NBA player at a young age," Kuminga said.

"These are just small details. You should alway


Cierra Dillard was a breath of fresh air for Senegal, leading the team in critical moments, but once in the final, Nigeria proved too strong for Senegal.

Uganda had the best campaign in its history.

By beating Senegal 85-83 in the group stage, Uganda has probably achieved the most famous result in the history of the competition.

Jannon Otto was a key factor for Uganda in the regional qualifiers, and she also remained influential for the Gazelles in the final.

Otto finished top scorer of the tournament.

1. Nigeria (5-0)
2. Senegal (3-3)
3. Mali (4-1)
4. Rwanda (2-3)
5. Mozambique (4-2)
6. Cameroon (3-2)
7. Uganda (3-3)
8. Guinea (1-5)
9. Egypt (1-2)
10. Angola (1-2)
11. Côte d’Ivoire (1-2)
12. DR Congo (0-3)


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