Mahmoud Abdelfattah has revealed how Next Star Alex Toohey has impressed him in pre-season.

30 Sep
By Dan Woods for

New Sydney head coach Mahmoud Abdelfattah has praised the pre-season performances of Next Star Alex Toohey, and says the Australian wonderkid has surpassed all early expectations placed on him by the Kings.

Toohey decommitted from Gonzaga to join the NBL Next Stars program prior to the NBL24 season, and is providing a glimpse into the future of Australian basketball, alongside Brisbane Next Star Rocco Zikarsky.

Toohey featured in all three of Sydney’s Hungry Jack’s NBL Blitz fixtures and starred with 19 points against Melbourne United.

<iframe src="" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write" width="100%" height="180" frameborder="0" title="Mahmoud Abdelfattah on SEN - September 28, 2023"></iframe>

He could be in line for a larger role within the Kings’ system, due to the shoulder injury suffered by star forward DJ Hogg.

“Alex Toohey, obviously I knew how talented he was, but I’d never seen him in person until him stepping on the floor at Hoops Capital,” Abdelfattah told SEN.

“I’ve watched film, but it’s different when you watch somebody in person, and just the strides he takes, his routine, his demeanor, his work ethic.

“I think a lot of people will really be surprised with the steps he’s taken and is going to take this season.”

While it remains to be seen whether Toohey will declare for the 2024 NBA Draft alongside potential first round selections and fellow young Next Stars Alexandre Sarr and Bobi Klintman, his performances at the Blitz in front of a raft of NBA scouts will have done his draft prospects no harm.

Abdelfattah admitted to having a positive conversation with at least one scout about Toohey during the tournament.

“I was talking with an NBA scout ... I said Alex Toohey is a great athlete and he said he’s a different type of athlete in comparison to the guy that can jump out the gym with a 45 inch vertical,” Abdelfattah continued.

“He’s a great athlete vertically, but he just understands where to be and when to be at the right time, it makes him seem more athletics because he’s always in the right spot at the right time.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Alex Toohey having himself a nice NBL Blitz. Had 19 points in 21 minutes today. Shooting the ball with nice confidence right now and doing a little bit of everything offensively. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) <a href="">September 20, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

“I definitely think it’s coachable … you can overwork yourself going 75 per cent for five or six straight possessions.

“It’s like sprint back in transition, get to a spot and you can wait there and evaluate rather than jogging back in transition.

“If you sprint back initially you see everything in front, you can communicate, see what’s happening, you can save yourself some energy.

“That’s coaching guys to be in the right spots at the right time on both ends of the floor.

“I can understand why Next Stars come over here to play instead of going the college route. It speeds up their development playing against pros that have been around for 10-12 years and former NBA players.

“I can see why the Next Stars program is growing and it’s going to benefit everyone in it.”

Sydney opens its NBL24 campaign against Illawarra on Saturday night, with the game live on ESPN via Kayo. 

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