Heading into the second season, the Vietnamese Basketball Association held the first ever VBA Draft to usher new talents into the league.
Two ABL players were selected in the VBA Draft: Stefan Nguyen and Ryan Le, both of who played for the Saigon Heat in the ASEAN Basketball League.
The VBA Draft pool consists of overseas players with Vietnamese Heritage. Each of the six teams have a quota of two Vietnamese Heritage players per team. Teams can retain one Vietnamese Heritage player from the previous season on their team, among those retained players are ABL standouts, David Arnold (Saigon Heat) and Horace Nguyen (Danang Dragons). The unretained players (like Stefan Nguyen) are put into the VBA Draft pool along with other Vietnamese Heritage players who were either referred to or discovered via VBA tryouts (like Ryan Le).
Nguyen and Le were drafted 5th (Danang Dragons) and 7th (Thang Long Warriors) overall, respectively.
Stefan Nguyen had just wrapped up his second straight season with the Saigon Heat where he averaged 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists over 35 games. The 25-year-old has been one of the top local players in the league.
This will be Nguyen’s second season in the VBA after winning the inaugural championship with the Danang Dragons. The Vietnamese-Swede averaged 13.7 points for the Dragons.
Ryan Le last played for the Saigon Heat in 2014-2015 when they made their first ever ABL Playoffs appearance. Le was a late season addition and played only 12 games with the Heat, including the playoffs. He averaged 1.5 points and 1.0 rebounds.
In Le’s first season in the VBA, he will be playing for the expansion team Thang Long Warriors.