Potential future Next Star Nolan Traore has been training alongside Alexandre Sarr with the Perth Wildcats.

23 Aug
By Dan Woods for


Overtime Elite graduate Alexandre Sarr will hit the floor as the Wildcats’ first ever Next Star in the upcoming season, and the French phenom has been joined by a familiar face in the opening weeks of Perth’s pre-season campaign.

17-year-old French guard Nolan Traore has been training alongside Sarr and the rest of the Wildcats for the past month, and will suit up for the club’s Academy side on Friday night.

Traore has already represented France at youth level and was recently listed by ESPN as one of the top ten NBA prospects to compete at last month’s FIBA U18 European Championships.

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Wildcats GM of Basketball Danny Mills says the presence of Traore at their pre-season camp is helping the club improve its standing as a development pathway on the world stage.

“For us, this is what we’re trying to build,” Mills told The West Australian. “We want to have young and talented payers – no matter where they are from – wanting to come to Perth and play in our program.

“If there’s opportunities like this presented to us, we will take them with two hands. Nolan has been fantastic.

“It’s an awesome experience for him to train with a pro team down here and get a better understanding of the Next Stars program, if that’s something he’s looking at for next season.”

The Wildcats have injected their NBL24 roster with a smattering of high-level young talent, around projected first round pick Sarr. Former Melbourne forward David Okwera has joined the club, alongside Centre of Excellence graduate Ben Henshall and highly touted Tall Blacks prospect Dontae Russo-Nance.

“We are always going to be in ‘win now’ mode and the goal is to win a championship and make the finals series, but you’ve always got to be looking at the future and having a longer lens.

“If players and player representatives can look at Perth as a program of a high standard and want to come here, that’s exactly what we want.

“We are forward thinking and want to keep all avenues open.”

The NBL’s General Manager of Next Stars Recruitment, Liam Santamaria, will head to Perth this week to meet with Traore.

For more information on Sarr and the Next Stars program, click here.

The Wildcats will open their NBL24 season on Friday, September 29 against Tasmania.

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