Australia’s Cameron Bairstow has been introduced to local media in Chicago after being selected by the Bulls in last week’s NBA Draft.
Cameron Bairstow says playing international basketball for Australia has him primed for life in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls.
The Brisbane-born power forward was introduced to local US media on Tuesday following his selection with pick No.49 in the second round of last week’s draft.
Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Bairstow had been on the club’s radar since last year, when they spotted him while scouting teammate Tony Snell at the University of New Mexico.
“Actually his coach (Craig Neal)… came to a pre-season camp to see Tony and he had told us about the great strides that he thought (Cameron) was making and that he thought he was going to have a breakout year this season,” Forman told reporters.
“So then our scouting staff got on that right away and followed him throughout the year.”
And Bairstow delivered, averaging 20 points and seven rebounds per game in his fourth season in the US college system.
The 23-year-old said improvements in his physical game, skill level and knowledge over the past 12 months would help his transition into the NBA.
“I think those three things, regardless of where you play, you can fit into a system and understand how to succeed with that system,” he said.
Bairstow has been a part of Australia’s national set-up since 2009, but only made his senior Boomers debut against China in June last year.
It’s an experience he feels gives him an edge as a rookie.
“I think playing against men you realise the tricks of the trade,” he added.
“A lot of the guys aren’t as athletic as the youth.
“Little things they do, in terms of how they think (about) the game and see things one step ahead, I think that really helped me and I learnt a lot from that.
“So I think to be able to see things from a different way and from a different aspect of the international level, can only help me moving forward.”
Bairstow said Snell, who was picked up by the Bulls in the 2013 Draft, had also been helpful in passing on information about the franchise.
“…He talks about the team culture and how great it is, so he’s been a great help.
“I’m definitely excited to join him here and continue the success we had in college.”