Ousmane Dieng receiving advice from Frenchmen Evan Fournier, Axel Toupane

Ousmane Dieng, a 6-foot-9 forward from France, this week shared that he has been given some advice from fellow Frenchmen Evan Fournier and Axel Toupane ahead of the NBA draft.

Dieng played last season with the New Zealand Breakers in the National Basketball League. He became the first European player to join the Next Stars program, a plan by the NBL to give the top prospects a way to play professionally.

Prior to joining the Breakers, Dieng played with the INSEP Academy, a French training center in Paris, averaging 12.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 assists. The program also hosted players like Tony Parker and Boris Diaw among others in the past.

Dieng, speaking on Thursday in a pre-draft conference call with reporters, said he had the chance to train with Fournier and Toupane at the INSEP Academy.

I talk a lot with them. Evan and Axel were working out a lot at INSEP when I was there so just during practice or off the court they told me how the NBA works and that has been really good for me.

Fournier was the 20th pick by the Denver Nuggets in 2012. After two years in Denver, Fournier played for six years with the Orlando Magic and then signed with the New York Knicks last year. Toupane has mostly played in Europe but has 33 NBA appearances to his name.

In addition to Fournier and Toupane, the 19-year-old Dieng called Parker a very influential figure for him and anointed him the best French basketball player to ever suit up. He also looks up to Nic Batum and tries to model some of his game after him.

Dieng is widely considered to be a first-round pick this year given his playmaking and defensive ability. He averaged 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists on 40% shooting from the field in 23 games this season with the Breakers.

He will likely need additional time to develop but teams certainly liked that he played in the NBL against tough competition. Given his improving skills and age, Dieng is poised to become the next French player to enter the league.

The NBA draft will take place on Thursday at 7:30 pm EDT.

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

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