5 Star Hoops Recruit to Skip College

DrewDawg

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5-Star Duke Target RJ Hampton Forgoes College to Play for New Zealand Breakers

Hampton is the #5 overall recruit per 247 Sports.

"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 there's 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."
 

BaseballJones

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I'm not sure why playing in New Zealand will get him more ready for the NBA than playing at Duke. But the sentiment...well...who can blame him?
 

shaggydog2000

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I'm not sure why playing in New Zealand will get him more ready for the NBA than playing at Duke. But the sentiment...well...who can blame him?
Because he can work out and practice all day everyday without restrictions or the distraction of semi-fake classes? Plus he gets to live in New Zealand for a year, and will most likely dominate the teams of hobbits he plays. The orcs possibly less so, depending on how they ref games there.

Overall it can only help end the silly "College as a minor league" system we currently have. Where athletes are paid, but have to pretend to be students, and the NCAA regulates by arbitrary enforcement.
 

DrewDawg

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Is there a minimum age requirement for the G-League? He'd be better off there and he avoids Sauron's Eye.
He's eligible I believe:

8. What is a “Select Contract” and the professional path?

The NBA G League announced a Select Contract as part of a comprehensive professional path that will be available, beginning with the 2019-20 season, to elite prospects who are eligible to play in the NBA G League but not yet eligible for the NBA. The contracts, which will include robust programmatic opportunities for development, are for elite players who are at least 18 years old and will pay $125,000 for the five-month season.
 

Kliq

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A few guys have tried this already; Brandon Jennings, Emmanuel Mudiay, Terrence Ferguson. Not sure if it really prepares players any better for the NBA but the sample size is small right now.
 

BaseballJones

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Because he can work out and practice all day everyday without restrictions or the distraction of semi-fake classes? Plus he gets to live in New Zealand for a year, and will most likely dominate the teams of hobbits he plays. The orcs possibly less so, depending on how they ref games there.

Overall it can only help end the silly "College as a minor league" system we currently have. Where athletes are paid, but have to pretend to be students, and the NCAA regulates by arbitrary enforcement.
Ben Simmons got like a 0.0 in college. If you're going to be a one-and-done player, you literally can completely ignore classes and do nothing but play basketball, work out, and get girls. You'd get a horrible GPA (a 0.0 most likely) your fall semester, and that would only put you on probation. Then the spring semester, you keep doing that, finish out your season in March (or April if you get to the Final Four), and then leave campus for NBA workouts. You get your 0.0, which makes you ineligible to play the next year but by then, you're playing for the Grizzlies anyway making millions of dollars.
 

shaggydog2000

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Ben Simmons got like a 0.0 in college. If you're going to be a one-and-done player, you literally can completely ignore classes and do nothing but play basketball, work out, and get girls. You'd get a horrible GPA (a 0.0 most likely) your fall semester, and that would only put you on probation. Then the spring semester, you keep doing that, finish out your season in March (or April if you get to the Final Four), and then leave campus for NBA workouts. You get your 0.0, which makes you ineligible to play the next year but by then, you're playing for the Grizzlies anyway making millions of dollars.
Oh, I know you don't have to anything to stay qualified to play if you're only there for one year, but there are NCAA limits on how much you can practice with and without coaches, and how much out of practice workout/gym time you can have as well.
 

nighthob

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Ben Simmons got like a 0.0 in college. If you're going to be a one-and-done player, you literally can completely ignore classes and do nothing but play basketball, work out, and get girls. You'd get a horrible GPA (a 0.0 most likely) your fall semester, and that would only put you on probation. Then the spring semester, you keep doing that, finish out your season in March (or April if you get to the Final Four), and then leave campus for NBA workouts. You get your 0.0, which makes you ineligible to play the next year but by then, you're playing for the Grizzlies anyway making millions of dollars.
NCAA regulations limit structured sports related activity to a defined season and includes actual game time and travel time. There’s nothing you get from college that you won’t get playing pro.
 

bosox79

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I just question why New Zealand and not a European club. I can't imagine the quality of play in New Zealand being all that great, but he'd probably get more playing time. It's like Yabu playing in China. Not sure what good it is.
 

bowiac

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NCAA regulations limit structured sports related activity to a defined season and includes actual game time and travel time. There’s nothing you get from college that you won’t get playing pro.
I don't know much about New Zealand ball, but if NCAA ball is a higher level of competition, that's a pretty coherent reason to prefer to go to school. This wouldn't apply to going to Europe of course, where is the level of play is much higher than the NCAA.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't know much about New Zealand ball, but if NCAA ball is a higher level of competition, that's a pretty coherent reason to prefer to go to school. This wouldn't apply to going to Europe of course, where is the level of play is much higher than the NCAA.
Exactly. My questioning his decision isn't about going pro or going to college. It's about going pro...in New Zealand. I'm just not sure THAT will better prepare him for the NBA than a year, say, in the ACC.

EDIT: By the way, I think more and more top guys will start to do this sort of thing, especially if they see it start to pay off for guys before them. The NCAA will have a real issue on their hands soon, possibly.
 

nighthob

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I don't know much about New Zealand ball, but if NCAA ball is a higher level of competition, that's a pretty coherent reason to prefer to go to school. This wouldn't apply to going to Europe of course, where is the level of play is much higher than the NCAA.
The Brandon Jennings experience will be one that takes a lot of getting over for agents. Part of that, of course, was that Jennings couldn't shoot and was definitely not ready for Europe (although he was playing much better towards the end of the season). And, honestly, was a bit of a knucklehead.

But the agents took notice, I guess, and feel better about their clients participating at levels beneath Euroleague.
 

Kliq

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Yeah, the quality of play in a lot of professional leagues is still very high, especially for raw high school kids that are used to being bigger, stronger and faster than their opponents and also not playing against professional-level coaches. An underrated aspect of college basketball is that you are still playing against your peers who are theoretically equals when it comes to physical and mental maturity. Jennings played 17 mpg for a fairly good Italian League team; Ferguson only played 15 mpg for an Australian League squad. If you want your guy to be showcased and put up numbers, you probably have to go to a smaller league. It also probably helps that its in an English language country.
 

DrewDawg

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I just question why New Zealand and not a European club.
Well, the league is actually 8 clubs from Australia and the one from New Zealand. That doesn't necessarily change your point. And they're coached by an American, Kevin Braswell, that played at Georgetown.

As to why, maybe the schedule is more amenable to what he wants. I think they play around 30 games, so similar to college, and, well, the league runs October through April--that's summer down there, as opposed to spending a winter trekking around Europe.
 

InstaFace

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Duke wasn’t in his final three. Memphis, Kansas and Texas Tech
Well, clearly Hampton lacks the temperament to be a good NBA player if he voluntarily turned down the chance to play CAROLINA BASKETBALL. Jordan Bell is still haunted by such shortcomings.
 

Kliq

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Well, clearly Hampton lacks the temperament to be a good NBA player if he voluntarily turned down the chance to play CAROLINA BASKETBALL. Jordan Bell is still haunted by such shortcomings.
Jaylen Brown would be All-NBA if he wasn't a coward and went to California to play college ball!
 

InstaFace

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Well, the league is actually 8 clubs from Australia and the one from New Zealand. That doesn't necessarily change your point. And they're coached by an American, Kevin Braswell, that played at Georgetown.

As to why, maybe the schedule is more amenable to what he wants. I think they play around 30 games, so similar to college, and, well, the league runs October through April--that's summer down there, as opposed to spending a winter trekking around Europe.
Those are very good reasons. Also, New Zealand is fucking beautiful, the people are incredibly nice, and when SHTF here, I'll be on the next plane to Auckland. I realize Hampton will be in the gym most of his waking hours, but on an off-day he can go on a hike, or go swim with dolphins, or day trip to Queenstown and do a bunch of fun shit his contract might prohibit him from doing. If playing there will adequately prepare him to play in the NBA, I can't think of many better places to do it.
 

drleather2001

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Ben Simmons got like a 0.0 in college. If you're going to be a one-and-done player, you literally can completely ignore classes and do nothing but play basketball, work out, and get girls. You'd get a horrible GPA (a 0.0 most likely) your fall semester, and that would only put you on probation. Then the spring semester, you keep doing that, finish out your season in March (or April if you get to the Final Four), and then leave campus for NBA workouts. You get your 0.0, which makes you ineligible to play the next year but by then, you're playing for the Grizzlies anyway making millions of dollars.
I mean, grain of salt and all, but taking his “education is important, you can always go back, etc...” stance, maybe he doesn’t want to burn his bridges by half-assing a year of college when he could just go play ball.
 

allstonite

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He was on this morning's Pardon My Take (actually recorded yesterday on a Sirius show) with another Breakers owner Matt Walsh. I thought he came off great and was very sure of himself and his decision. I'm always shocked when the younger players come into the public eye already talking like 15 year vets (Tatum blew me away from the beginning). It was doubly impressive for Hampton who made a huge decision for his future that I'm sure will have tons of detractors and people questioning his every move but he handled it so well. I'll be rooting for him and hope he's successful enough that more 5 star guys go this route or the NBA changes the age limit back.

Also, love them or hate them, the Barstool connection is going to be good for his exposure here in the States. I'm sure they're going to capitalize on this and cover him a lot.
 

Plantiers Wart

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Ben Simmons got like a 0.0 in college. If you're going to be a one-and-done player, you literally can completely ignore classes and do nothing but play basketball, work out, and get girls. You'd get a horrible GPA (a 0.0 most likely) your fall semester, and that would only put you on probation. Then the spring semester, you keep doing that, finish out your season in March (or April if you get to the Final Four), and then leave campus for NBA workouts. You get your 0.0, which makes you ineligible to play the next year but by then, you're playing for the Grizzlies anyway making millions of dollars.
This kid scored 1300 on SATs and has a 3.7 cum. If he wants to go to college later, I think he will be fine. Obviously couldn’t get into Duke though