The Guelph Nighthawks will have a former NBAer in the lineup when play resumes.
The team announced Wednesday the first free agent acquisition of the year, signing former Los Angeles Clippers Centre Diamond Stone to a standard player contract for the 2021 Canadian Elite Basketball League season.
At six-feet-eleven, 255 lbs. the 23-year-old is expected to be a sizeable interior presence on the Nighthawks roster and marks the first player in team history that was both drafted into the NBA and played in a regular season NBA games.
Stone played one season at the University of Maryland in 2015 after being a consensus top-10 high school recruit and a McDonald’s All-American.
At Maryland, Stone averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, including a Terrapins freshman team record 39 points against Penn State.
Following his freshman season, Stone declared for the 2016 NBA Draft where he was selected 40th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans and subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on draft night.
Stone played seven games with Clippers in 2016/17, spending most of the season with their G-League affiliates Santa Cruz Warriors and Salt Lake City Stars.
Over three seasons, Stone has played a total of 77 NBA G-League regular season games, averaging 13.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, while registering 11 double-doubles. In 2019, as a member of Rio Grande Valley, Stone helped lead the Vipers to the NBA G-League Championship.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity with the Nighthawks, especially since there are so many players not able to play right now. I’ve never been to Guelph, but look forward to spending time in the community and helping to bring a championship to the city,” Stone said in a news release from the Nighthawks.
Said coach/GM Charles Kissi: “We are excited about having Diamond Stone join our organization. We feel it’s a great opportunity for growth on both sides. He is such a unique talent for the league and we believe a major piece of our championship puzzle.”