Little Elm 5-star guard RJ Hampton will forgo college and play professionally in Australia for the New Zealand Breakers, he announced Tuesday morning on ESPN’s Get Up with Mike Greenberg, Jay Williams and Jalen Rose.
Texas Tech, Kansas and Memphis were his final three schools.
“My dream was never to play college basketball. My dream was to get to the next level and play in the NBA, so I think this is the best route for me,” Hampton told ESPN’s Get Up. “To live like a pro and play with grown men every day, and not to juggle books and basketball and focus on my main goal.”
He was projected to commit to Kansas at 81 percent, per 247Sports lead expect Jerry Meyer. He also had offers from Kentucky, Duke, TCU, Texas, SMU, Baylor, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Houston, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, LSU, UCLA and USC.
Greenberg said that he wanted Hampton on the show because he heard that this was a possibility.
“I kind of wanted to set the trend. I never wanted to be normal,” Hampton said. “I wanted to set the trend for the younger guys coming up, to show them ‘hey, this isn’t the only route you can take, college basketball,’ and I think this is the best option for me.”
Hampton, the 2018-19 Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year, averaged a Dallas-Fort Worth-leading 32 points along with 9.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 3.9 steals per game this season.
He was the top-ranked 2020 prospect in the state according to 247Sports, before reclassifying to 2019, ending his high school career in three years. Hampton, who was named Texas Player of the Year by USA Today, is eligible for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Hampton was ranked the No. 2 combo guard in the nation and No. 5 overall player in the country, per 247Sports. He is projected as the No. 6 overall pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
He won gold medals with Team USA at the Under-16 FIBA World Cup in 2017 and at the U17 FIBA World Cup in 2018. The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 5A Player of the Year in 2018, he concluded his junior year with 2,854 career points.
He’s among 34 players invited to the U.S. Men’s Basketball U19 World Cup training and selection camp, where he’ll train June 15-18 in Colorado Springs.