Published: Thu, May 30, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

5-star recruit chooses Australian pro league over NCAA basketball

5-star recruit chooses Australian pro league over NCAA basketball

"My dream has never been to play college basketball...".

"I feel like this was the best opportunity for me to get ready for the National Basketball Association as quickly as possible because that is my ultimate goal", he told Rivals.com. "I want to live like a pro, play and prepare myself like one, too". This is about getting ready for the next level faster and more efficiently. Brandon Jennings was a phenom coming out of high school, and he got thrown around like a rag doll when he went to Italy instead of playing in college. My mom got her master's degree.

"This is about focusing 100 percent on basketball", Hampton said. "I think that it is a safer route for players to go instead of going to college, in my opinion". Hampton previously reclassified from the 2020 class to 2019 and had been considering Kansas, Memphis and Texas Tech. He had also previously considered scholarship offers from Duke, Kentucky and others.

How the decision impacts the stock of the projected No. 6 pick in ESPN's latest 2020 Mock Draft remains to be seen.

"RJ is our first worldwide recruit for the upcoming season and we have plenty more exciting announcements ahead", said Breakers owner Matt Walsh.

Time will tell how Hampton fares in the NBL, but his development will surely be one to watch.

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It's a clear indication Hampton is regarded as one of the top 25-30 high school players in the US. "I started following him two years before he was drafted and watched at least 10 games of his this season. He'll eventually get to the destination he wants". Bowen II was the first player to use the program last season with the Sydney Kings.

"Basically, I put it out on our group WhatsApp". And I feel like this is a much better route for me.

Hampton's agent, Happy Walters, has experience with placing draft prospects in the NBL, as he represented Ferguson in 2017 when he signed with Adelaide.

After reclassifying into 2019, Hampton immediately had a strong case as the best long-term guard prospect among incoming freshmen. "I didn't think it was going to be like this", he told the show. Talent, mental toughness and upside are the key factors.

A big day for Australian/New Zealand basketball.

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