League to Offer HS Basketball Players $150k to Skip College

Tanya Simon
October 20, 2018

Under existing rules players must be 19, or one year removed from high school, before entering the NBA Draft. Beyond that, the only requirement is that a player must be 18 by September 15 of the season they would play and, in the case of prospects older than 18, can not have gone through an NBA Draft in the past. "We believe this is an answer to that call".

The NBA has unveiled a new career path for elite, young basketball stars that could persuade them not to play in Australia's NBL, Europe or with a United States college team.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski had his doubts to if this avenue is one players would go for, considering the G League does not have the spotlight that Division I college basketball does, considering the lack of exposure on national and regional TV, as well as a higher level of competition.

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"Obtaining a college education continues to provide unmatched preparation for success in life for the majority of student-athletes and remains an excellent path to professional sports for many", Emmert said. It's hard to imagine many 18-year-old kids choosing the G-League lifestyle over college. "However, this change provides another option for those who would prefer not to attend college but want to directly pursue professional basketball".

Given the significant difference in physical maturity and experience, G League Select prospects could be risking their draft stock while their peers face NCAA competition. Givony reports that the league will "target recent or would-be high school graduates who otherwise would have likely spent just one season playing college basketball". It is expected that there will be an advisory council to tell athletes who contact the G League about their potential eligibility for a select deal, much like how college football players can ask about their potential NFL draft status. "We're also not going to be targeting those who have already made their decisions".

Many important details are still yet to be decided, including the way in which elite prospects are identified, pursued and then assigned to G League teams. Of the 35, only five scored more than 10 points in their first game.

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