Indiana’s Kel’el Ware, Mackenzie Mgbako appear in ESPN NBA mock draft for 2024
The 2023 NBA draft is over and projections for next summer’s 2024 draft are already rolling in.
The first 2024 ESPN.com NBA mock draft was published today and two Indiana players are listed among the 59 projected picks.
Kel’el Ware is slotted in at No. 11 and Mackenzie Mgbako is No. 31.
Other Big Ten players projected to be selected include Xavier Booker of Michigan State (No. 33) and Zach Edey of Purdue (No. 39). The Big Ten had eight players selected in Thursday’s 2023 NBA draft at the Barclays Center, including Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trayce Jackson-Davis.
The 2024 NBA draft will take place next June.
Here are bios on Ware and Mgbako from IU:
IU men’s basketball coach Mike Woodson has announced that Kel’el Ware, a 7-0, 210 lb., center, will join the program as a transfer and have three seasons of eligibility. He comes to IU from Oregon where he played 35 games and started four as a freshman for the Ducks. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes of action per game and led the team in blocked shots with 45. His best game of the year was an 18-point, nine-board effort against eventual national champion, UConn. He also had nine rebounds against Michigan State.
A native of North Little Rock, Arkansas, he led North Little Rock High School to back-to-back state championships and was the 2021 State Tournament MVP. He earned multiple All-State and All-Conference honors. As a senior, he averaged 21.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.7 blocks and as a junior, he averaged 16.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks per game for Coach Johnny Rice and the Charging Wildcats. Finished his sophomore campaign averaging 12.7 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. to help NLR to a 23-5 mark that ended due to COVID. He played AAU ball for All-Arkansas Red.
He was a 2022 McDonald’s All-American where he had eight points and a team-high 10 boards for the West. He also was a Jordan Brand All-Star participant alongside Hoosiers Jalen Hood-Schifino and Malik Reneau and played in the Iverson Classic. For the Class of 2022, he was ranked sixth overall in the final 247Sports individual rankings, seventh by Rivals.com and eighth by ESPN.com. He represented USA Basketball winning a gold medal at the 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Tijuana, Mexico. He played for the 2022 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team that defeated the World Select Team 102-80 in the 23rd Nike Hoop Summit and came off the bench to score 11 points on four-of-five shooting from the field and also grabbed five rebounds.
He is the son of Tamika Spaight and Cedrick Spaight; has two brothers, Javarus Ware and Kashis Spaight, and two sisters, Dyamyn Ware and Jazzmyn Spaight. He was born April 20, 2004.
Indiana University men’s basketball coach Mike Woodson has announced that McDonald’s All-American Mackenzie Mgbako, a 6-8, 210 lb., small forward from Gladstone, New Jersey and Roselle Catholic High School, will join the 2023 recruiting class and play for the Hoosiers this fall. A consensus five-star recruit, he is ranked as the eighth best player in the Class of 2023 by Rivals.com, ninth by ESPN, and 10th by 247Sports.
Mgbako, who is considered one of the top offensive players in the country, also played in this year’s Nike Hoop Summit, and had 22 points and eight rebounds for the World team. He averaged 16.3 points and 9.2 rebounds in his only season at Roselle Catholic for Coach Dave Boff, helping them to a NJSIAA Non-Public B state title.
He is a two-time NJ.com first-team All-State selection. He averaged 19.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists as a junior at Gill St. Bernards School and was named Skyland Conference Player of the Year. He played with the New Jersey Scholars for Coach Jason Harrigan on the EYBL circuit and averaged 16.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12 games.
He is the son of C.Y. and Daphne Mgbako and has an older brother, Ife, an older sister, Mikaylah, and a younger brother, Ethan. He was born November 18, 2004.
He is the 33rd Hoosier recruit who has played in the McDonald’s All-American game. He and Oregon transfer sophomore center Kel’el Ware will give the Hoosiers two McDonald’s All-Americans on their roster for the first time since 2016-17. He is the highest rated Hoosier recruit since seventh ranked Romeo Langford chose IU in 2018.
Mgbako joins fellow incoming freshmen guard Gabe Cupps (91st, 247Sports) from Centerville, Ohio and guard Jakai Newton (114th, 247Sports) from Covington, Georgia and transfers Ware, junior forward Payton Sparks (Ball State) and graduate student forward Anthony Walker (Miami) as newcomers to the IU program.