Top High School Basketball Prospect Jonathan Kuminga Signs With the G League

Kuminga is now projected to be a top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft

G League basketball player Jonathan Kuminga
Only 17-years-old, Jonathan Kuminga is already an NBA-caliber athlete.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In April, the NBA created the G League Select Team, a pathway to the NBA Draft for prospects who want an alternative to playing in college. Offering six-figure contracts (plus the potential to earn more from sponsorships), the program was an immediate hit, signing Jalen Green, the number one recruit from the class of 2020, as well as three other five-star players.

In the latest flexing of G League’s newfound powers, Jonathan Kuminga, the number one prospect in the class of 2021, announced yesterday that he’d be reclassifying, graduating high school early and joining the Select Team this fall.

“I see my potential as an NBA player, and with the G League, they’ll help me a lot more than college,” the 17-year-old Kuminga told The Athletic. “They’ll help me off and on the court and to reach my goal to be the No. 1 draft [pick] in 2021. The G League will help me more than how college was going to help me on being the player I want to be right now and going pro.”

Having added Kuminga, the G League has now poached the top-rated recruit in back-t0-back high-school classes. A stupidly powerful athlete from New Jersey, the 6’8″ forward chose the G League over attending Texas Tech University, where he would’ve played alongside his older brother Joel Ntambwe. Although it’s a shame for college hoops fans to miss out on the opportunity to watch Kuminga play in college, his decision is hard to argue with. With the fate of the upcoming NCAA season in limbo because of coronavirus, there’s no guarantee that Kuminga would’ve gotten the benefit of a college experience and the exposure that comes with it.

As of now, it’s still unclear what exactly playing for the Select Team entails or if they’ll be a full-fledged member of the G League, but a $500,000 contract and the opportunity to train in professional facilities is hard to turn down, no matter what.

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