Five-star guard and top-five 2019 prospect R.J. Hampton threw a curveball Tuesday, announcing on ESPN's "Get Up" that he'll skip NCAA basketball and instead play professionally for the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League of Australia.
"My dream has never been to play college basketball," Hampton said. "My dream has always been to get to the next level and play in the NBA. So I think this was the best route for me."
In making the jump, Hampton becomes the first highly-ranked U.S. player to willingly forgo college eligibility and go pro overseas. Previous players to do so such as Brian Bowen, Terrance Ferguson, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Brandon Jennings all had academic eligibility issues that affected their decisions.