Shining Stars: DME & SJNA Partnership Yields Two 2023 First-Round NBA Draftees
Brandin Podziemski, St. John’s Northwestern Academies alumnus (‘21), and Kris Murray, Former DME Academy postgraduate player (‘20), made history as they were drafted as the No. 19 and No. 23 picks, respectively, in the 2023 NBA Draft.
DELAFIELD, Wis. – The DME Academy at St. John’s Northwestern Academies partnership took center stage at the 2023 NBA Draft as two former standout products of each academy were selected in the first round of the draft.
On Thursday, June 22, 2023, Brandin Podziemski, a 2021 graduate of SJNA, was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the 19th pick. Soon after, the Portland Trail Blazers utilized the 23rd pick to add DME Academy post-graduate basketball alumnus, Kris Murray, to their roster.
Launched less than a month prior to the draft, the 2023 NBA Draft was a banner night for the DME at SJNA program. With two draft picks in quick succession, the partnership announced itself under the bright lights of the Barclays Center as a hub for top talent, and laid a clear pathway to the highest levels of the game for the next generation of DME at SJNA student-athletes.
With 11-year NBA veteran Wesley Persons set to coach the newly established DME at SJNA teams in the upcoming season, and DME co-founder Dan Panaggio’s wealth of NBA coaching experience, the new partnership is set to take flight and offer its students next level experience and guidance that is solely found through the DME at SJNA program.
Before they heard NBA commissioner Adam Silver call their names out on Thursday (June 22) night, both Brandin and Kris put in the work and shined on their respective campuses.
At St. John’s Northwestern, Podziemski accumulated more than 2,000 career points, was recognized as a three-time All-State honoree, and in 2021, he was awarded the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s Mr. Basketball and the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year. After graduating from SJNA, he continued his basketball career at Santa Clara University.
Murray, too, was very successful at the academy level. At DME, he averaged 17.1 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, and shot 48 percent from the field. Wesam Al-Sous, former DME Academy head basketball coach, said, “Kris was our glue guy. He was the guy that could do it all.” Murray went on to have a stellar career at the University of Iowa, where both his twin brother and father also played basketball.
Catch Brandin and Kris getting geared up for the NBA season next week (July 3-6) at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada. With a strong preseason, DME at SJNA fans can expect to see more of their favorite stars on the NBA stage come October and the start of the 2023-24 season.
The partnership between DME and SJNA aims to continue to produce elite student-athletes, like Brandin Podziemski and Kris Murray. To learn more or apply to be a part of the DME at SJNA partnership in Delafield, Wisconsin Click Here:
About St. John’s Northwestern Academies
Founded in 1884, St. John’s Northwestern Academies develops young men and women inspired to become responsible citizens and moral and ethical leaders for the global community. For more information, visit sjnacademies.org.