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Top College Prospect Skipping College’s One-And-Done Scene, Will Play Professionally In New Zealand

RJ Hampton Will Skip College To Play In New Zealand For the top talents coming out of high school, the options have generally been few. The NBA won’t take...

RJ Hampton Will Skip College To Play In New Zealand

For the top talents coming out of high school, the options have generally been few.

The NBA won’t take them until they are at least 19. College is essentially an unpaid internship, where everyone else makes money. Nor is college for everyone.

Now there’s another avenue. Until the NBA opens up its draft to high school graduates, more players may travel this road than doing the one-and-done at the college level where all of the risks falls on the player.

RJ Hampton, widely considered a top-five prospect nationally, announced on Tuesday that he will not supply free labor to suitors Kansas, Texas Tech and Memphis this fall and spring. He told ESPN he has signed with the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League.

It’s a multi-year deal with an out clause for the NBA, and Hampton will get paid to play.

“My No. 1 goal is to play in the NBA,” he told ESPN. “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.”

No phony course work designed to keep him eligible. No pretense of what he wants to do (like majoring in general studies) with a year of college classes that might just be lightly attended, given the demands of the sport.

Nope. RJ Hampton is going to get paid.

In the process, he may be giving a lot of other young basketball players the lesson they need.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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