Darius Bazley has set high school basketball alight, proving to be one of the best HIS players in the United States. He was expected to do big things in NCAA hoops after supposedly committing to Syracuse for the 2018/2019 run. However, the All-American has decided to skip college ball entirely and turn professional in the NBA G League.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports, 17-year old Darius Bazley confirmed he is decomitting from Syracuse after talks with his mother and Princeton (Cincinnati) High School coach Steve Wright.
“This is a life-changing decision,” Bazley told Yahoo Sports. “I put a lot of thinking into this with my mom and close circle, especially sitting down with her. It’s just like making the decision to which college you want to go to. Me and her did some talking, and I prayed on it. I talked to my high school coach, Steve, who played overseas, and then I talked to a couple of guys in the G League who have experience. Ultimately, playing professional basketball has always been my dream. It’s always going to be the dream goal, always going to be the goal until I achieve it. This is going to put me one step closer to doing so.
“The G League will have the most to offer, considering that is the development league for the NBA,” he continued. “I will get more out of that than going overseas. The G League is the closest thing to the NBA. I see most guys now are spending time in the G League even after they went to school and the draft, so this gives me the chance to accelerate the process. There have been a lot of successful guys who have been brought up in the G League, and I’m confident that I will be one of them.
“I’m self-motivated because I know this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is how I want to make a living. This is how I want to provide for my family, and provide for my love of basketball. I’m not playing any games with this. I’m attacking this straight forward. I’m not maneuvering around this, take any side steps. I’m taking this head on. This is the decision that I made, and I know it will work. I know what I’m capable of doing, and I’m going to do just that.”
One of the leading high school players of the class of 2018, Bazley will not be blazing a unique trail. Sure, the path of skipping college Basketball to turn directly professional is becoming a growing trend, but players are typically opting for the hustle and bustle of European basketball as an education replacement for the NCAA. Darius Bazley will become the first to jump straight into the G-League.
It’s arguably a very bold and dangerous choice. Proponents of the NCAA system argue the competition of college basketball is the true way to carve a professional game from a raw high school one. Professional leagues have no time for learners and players can quickly be cut adrift.
Admittedly, there is much to suggest Bazley is different. He is predicted to be among the best players in the 2019 NBA Draft and will turn 18 in June before being eligible to join a G-League team in September.