Nebraska's Dalano Banton selected by Toronto in NBA Draft
For the second time in three years, Nebraska basketball had a player hear his name called during the NBA Draft.
Dalano Banton, a 6-foot-9 point guard who had intrigued pro scouts for years, was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 46th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
Banton follows former Husker Isaiah Roby, who was taken in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks in 2019. Prior to Roby, NU had gone 20 years without having a player drafted.
A native of Toronto, Banton becomes the first Canadian player drafted by the Raptors. He's also the 11th draft pick produced by Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg going back to his time at Iowa State.
“Dalano came to Nebraska two years ago with a goal of wanting to reach the NBA and has worked hard to make that goal a reality,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said in a press release.
“Everyone in our program is happy for Dalano because so few people are selected each year. It should also serve as motivation for our current team with the system we play that gives our players an opportunity to work in an NBA-style system."
Statistically, Banton had a productive first active season with the Huskers last season after sitting out 2019-20 as a transfer from Western Kentucky.
He played in every game for NU 27 games with 22 starts, averaging 9.6 points and leading the team in rebounding (5.9), assists (3.9), and blocks (0.9) per game.
Banton ranked ninth in the Big Ten in assists, 15th in blocks and 18th in rebounding. He also became the first Husker since 1974 to lead his team in rebounds and assists.
He etched his name in the school record books by posting just the second triple-double in program history with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in 21 minutes against Doane on Dec. 17, 2020.
However, Banton struggled after Nebraska came back off of a nearly month-long break due to COVID-19, and he eventually lost his spot in the starting lineup for the final five games.
Banton declared for the NBA Draft on the day of the deadline on May 31. But it wasn't until a breakout performance at the G League Elite Camp on June 19-21 that his NBA aspirations became more of a reality.
He led the camp in rebounds and assists and then followed that up with strong performances at a handful of individual workouts with NBA teams.
Banton told HoopsHype.com that he would always appreciate his time at Nebraska with head coach Fred Hoiberg.
"Everything he says, I soak it up like a sponge," Banton said. "I know where he is coming from. He has played (in the NBA), and so it’s easy for me to understand him because he’s been in my shoes as well. He gives me advice on everything. I can call him as a friend, as a coach, as a brother. On the court, he puts me in places he feels I can do well.
"He was an NBA coach, so he knows what it is like and how it is, and so he puts me in positions where I can shine and show that I’m an NBA player. I’m not taking his experience for granted."
Banton's NBA career will begin in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from Aug. 8-17. All games will be on the ESPN family of networks or NBA TV and on the ESPN App.