As Johnny Furphy prepares for the NBA Draft, a former Kansas star shares some advice

As Kansas freshman Johnny Furphy prepares for the NBA Draft, a former Jayhawk has helped him throughout the process.

That Jayhawk? None other than former KU one-and-done and current Toronto Raptors wing Gradey Dick. About a year ago, the Wichita native was picked No. 13 overall by the Raptors in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Furphy said Dick has helped him understand how the adjustment to the NBA will go.

“I spoke to him about his experience being a rookie in the league,” Furphy told The Star. “His family, his parents kind of reached out to my parents. They explained his experience with it and things that they found worked and things that he found didn’t work, which is good to know. It’s good to kind of have people like that you can seek advice from”

Dick told The Star that he’s learned quite a bit in his first year in the NBA.

“I really just (learned) what comes from the long season,” Dick said. “How to take care of your body and all the recovery stuff.”

It’s undoubtedly a full-circle moment for Furphy to be learning from Dick. Back when Furphy played in Centre of Excellence, Dick was one of his favorite players.

Now — about a year later — Furphy is a potential lottery pick.

The Melbourne, Australia, native recently received an invitation to attend the 2024 NBA Draft and sit in the green room at Barclays Center. He has accepted the invitation and will attend the draft, which is set for June 26-27,

“If I’m being honest, it really hasn’t sunk in,” Furphy said. “It doesn’t really feel real yet, that this is actually happening and it’s real. It’s just something that I’ve grown up watching, seeing other people go through. And (to) just kind of realize that I’m about to go through this, it’s pretty awesome. It’s definitely a crazy feeling.”

In his lone season at KU, Furphy averaged 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds and was voted to the Big 12’s all-freshman team. He shot 35.2% from 3-point range.

Although Furphy wasn’t quite as accurate as Dick was from 3-point range (Dick shot 40.3% from 3 at Kansas), Dick sees similarities between the two.

“(He’s a) lengthy shooter that can space the floor, and really a jack-of-all-trades,” Dick said. “It’s one of (those) things where he can show his versatility, which is great.”

Dick’s advice? Keep doing what got you here.

“It’s really just the same stuff the other guys told me,” Dick said. “Just play your game.”