Two five-star recruits have spurned the NCAA in favor of the NBA’s G-League.
The coronavirus pandemic has already made a sizable dent in the music and concert industries. In the last few weeks, however, its long-term effects on sports have come into focus.
On Thursday, top NCAA prospects Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd broke the news that they were forgoing their college careers. The two will join the NBA’s supplemental G-League, where they’ll play on the “Select Team,” alongside other high school players who’d rather play professionally than in college. Todd had previously committed to the University of Michigan.
“I wanted to get better overall and prepare myself for the NBA,” Green told Yahoo Sports. “Because that’s my ultimate goal.” According to The Ringer’s NBA analyst Kevin O’Connor, Green will receive $500,000 and a full college scholarship for signing. The 18-year-old Fresno, California native was leaning towards joining Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers before making his final decision.
By going to the G League, Jalen Green receives $500K, a full college scholarship, skill/life training, and will face tougher competition than college offers with coaches focused on development. Sure seems like an easy choice for elite HS recruits instead of dealing with the NCAA.
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 16, 2020
“I’m still going to be able to go back to college and finish school,” Green said. “So it’s not really that I’m missing out on college.” Green has hired Aaron Goodwin as his agent for the process. Goodwin represented the last two number-one picks to jump from high school to the pros: LeBron James and Dwight Howard.
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Players like Brandon Jennings previously tested the waters by playing overseas before entering the NBA Draft.
“The earnings package for (Jalen) Green … is believed to eclipse $1 million for the year.”
— Stadium (@Stadium) April 16, 2020
In the wake of canceled seasons, the University of Cincinnati permanently discontinued its soccer program. Sports besides basketball and football already looked to be in danger should a pay-for-play system ever come to the NCAA due to their smaller revenues.
The “Select Team” will play just 20 games, as opposed to the G-League’s 50-game schedule.