Israel’s rising basketball star Deni Avdija joined the Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday to fulfill his mandatory army service to the country. The Maccabi Tel Aviv and Israel National Team forward is expected to be a Lottery Pick in the upcoming NBA Entry Draft and is slated to be selected with one of the top 5 picks this summer.
Avdija arrived at the Tel Hashomer Army Base with his parents Zufer and Sharon as well as his agent Matan Siman Tov for his induction to the IDF and will complete his service in North America as an “Exceptional Athlete”.
After winning back to back Under-20 European Championships with the Israel National Team, Avdija’s teammates were drafted into the IDF in the summer of 2019, but his service was delayed due to his commitment with Maccabi Tel Aviv and playing in the Euroleague.
“I am happy and proud to join the IDF just like every other citizen of my age,” said Avdija right after drafting into Tzahal. “I will do whatever is asked from me just like I do on the basketball court.”
In 21 Israeli league games this season, Avdija is averaging 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 24 assists per game in over 27 minutes of playing time while in the Euroleague he’s averaging 4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14 minutes over game having featured in 26 contests.