Hampton, who had scholarship offers from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Memphis, and Texas Tech, announced his decision on this mornings episode of Get Up:
Hampton explained that his dream has never been to play college basketball, and that he thinks playing in the NBL will best prepare him for the NBA. Hampton isnt the first highly rated high school player to choose a foreign pro league over the NCAA, but other players who have done so previously were facing eligibility issues. Hampton had no such hangups, though, and probably would have been starting at Kansas next year if he had wanted to.
“My No. 1 goal is to play in the NBA. I wanted to be an NBA player before I ever wanted to be a college player. This is about getting ready for the next level faster and more efficiently. Both of my parents went to college. My mom got her masters degree. Education is a big thing in our family, but this is about focusing 100 percent on basketball. You can always go back to college, but theres only a short window as an athlete where you can play professional basketball, and I want to take advantage of that. I think that challenging yourself on a daily basis is the best way to improve.”
Hampton picking the NBL wasnt random, either. The league recently launched the Next Stars program, which is specifically designed to lure one-and-done players away from the NCAA. The program allows the league to invite players of a certain pedigree to join an NBL team on a short-term contract without counting against the teams quota of three international players. The recruited players salary is also partly subsidized by the league itself, and after one season they become eligible to enter the NBA draft. Its a pretty great deal for everyone involved, except for the NCAA, which is the best possible outcome.
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R.J. Hampton Announces Hell Skip College, Will Play Pro In New Zealand For The Breakers
Edit Slot to 247Sports Home Slot to Kansas Jayhawks Newsletter Slot to Kansas Links KU basketball is in a vulnerable spot. It is not quite time to panic for those in Lawrence. The Jayhawks are far from crisis with…