By Max Kennedy
Photo credit @frankie.vision on instagram
Today, LaMelo Ball announced he will join five-star recruit RJ Hampton in the NBL next season. Ball will play with Illawarra Hawks and Hampton with the New Zealand Breakers.
Most draft analysts are focusing on the impact their decisions have on their draft stocks, but I want to look at how this decision impacts the game of basketball.
One important talked about issue in the sports world is if the NCAA should pay college athletes. I always thought this would never happen, unless people stopped going to college.
This is a legitimate shot for two high school kids who made a decision to have a chance to change the history of sports. How, is the big question? I believe if Ball and Hampton can go to the NBL and thrive and put themselves in a position to become lottery picks, others will follow. Imagine if the top two guards selected in the 2020 draft were those who skipped out on college, why would recruits such as Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, and many more not follow this path.
What would the NCAA do if 25% of the top 100 recruits chose international ball over college? Maybe it would be the first ever chance of college athletes getting paid, or maybe March Madness would be worse, but no matter what it is a new opportunity.
Overall, there is a chance that their decisions can change basketball for the better, but it won’t be easy. I hope Ball and Hampton show out overseas, so the kids who will play college basketball in the future have a shot of getting paid.