Basketball legend Magic Johnson has given Australian teenager Ben Simmons a huge endorsement as the best all-round player to emerge since LeBron James.
Melbourne-born Simmons has NBA clubs circling in his rookie year for Louisiana State University, averaging 20.5 points and a league-high 13.1 rebounds.
Simmons has often been compared to Johnson, a five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA MVP, because of his rare combination of size, ball skills and passing ability.
And Johnson's high praise will only strengthen his favouritism to be the No.1 NBA Draft pick in June - when he could easily end up with Johnson's former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
"LSU's Ben Simmons is the best all around player I've seen since LeBron James came out of high school straight to the NBA!" Johnson tweeted.
"Whatever team selects Ben Simmons, will be getting a player that will have an immediate impact on their squad!"
The NBA Draft rewards the teams with the worst records with the best chance of scoring the top pick and the Lakers are having a woeful year.
The backing from Johnson came just hours before Simmons' LSU team faced their biggest test of the season so far against college powerhouse Kentucky.
Kentucky coach John Calipari warned his team Simmons could score 40 points on them.
Calipari said the highly skilled, athletic 208cm tall Simmons was a handful.
"You better have a game plan A and B against him because he can go for 40 (points)," Calipari told reporters.
"He is a 6-9 point guard-ish guy that will go inside, score next to the basket, makes free throws so you can't foul him and, in transition, when he brings it up, he's a great playmaker."