RJ Hampton, a five-star recruit coming out of high school, made an interesting decision yesterday as he announced he would be forgoing NCAA basketball so that he could play for the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL. Hampton will have the opportunity to make some money right out of the gate and will be playing against grown men as opposed to people his own age. Hampton was asked by TMZ Sports yesterday about why he chose the Breakers and the young star had an interesting answer.
“They got a lot of ex-NBA guys that own the team,” Hampton explained. “The coaching staff’s really good. The team is actually a really good team. They’re all bought in and invested in me getting to the league as quickly as possible.”
The young basketball star also said he’s not too worried about seeking out any endorsement deals right now, although he realizes that it’s an important part of brand building. Part of Hampton’s decision to go to the NBL was rooted in the fact that he could be his own player and wouldn’t be restricted by the rules of the NCAA.
“I’ll probably figure that stuff out in the next couple of weeks,” Hampton said. “You need to have your own brand. You need to be yourself. You don’t need to let others dictate who you are and how you play. Just take control of your future.”
Hampton’s progress in the NBL will surely be a big storyline next season especially if he can prove himself to be the best prospect out there.