Top Prospect Jalen Green Will Skip College In Favor of NBA G-League

Green will be the first to test the G-League's $500,000 pathway program

Jalen Green NBA G-League
Jalen Green looks on during the adidas Summer Championships on July 20, 2018.
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jalen Green, the top prospect in the potential 2021 NBA draft class, announced this week that he would be foregoing college in order to became the highest-profile high schooler to jump into the NBA G-League professional pathway program. According to ESPN, the 6’5″ wing will be the first prospect to participate in the revamped program, which will pay him over $500,000 for a year of mentoring and prepping for the NBA.

The pathway was set up and enhanced in direct reaction to the National Basketball League of Australia’s growing influence on high school prospects, who are lured by the mid-six-figures salaries and chance to play professionally directly after they graduate. LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton both chose this route, but with the improved salaries in the G-League program, Green chose to stay stateside to participate.

The program Green will join has been upgraded to that $500,000 salary from $125,000 for “elite prospects,” those that would fetch higher salaries in Australia. He will participate in a handful of games against G-League teams that won’t count for the standings, as well as receive professional coaching and “life skills” classes to better prepare him for life in the NBA once he chooses to declare for the draft, likely next summer.

Given the significant amount of hype already following Green, who won gold with USA Basketball at the FIBA U17 and U19 World Championships, this will be the G-League pathway’s first and biggest test. If it succeeds at preparing Green for the NBA, while providing a form of financial security a year earlier than college basketball can provide, it could open up a new choice for high school stars debating their next moves.

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