“It’s the future”: when the paths to the “lottery” of the Draft multiply, to the detriment of the NCAA

Prospects – While March Madness is in full swing, Amen and Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite) or Scoot Henderson (G-League Ignite) embody a new generation of future “lottery picks” who cut their teeth away from the college circuit.

This is the clearest sign that times are changing for good in the NCAA: even Duke, historically productive factory of NBA stars for the past ten or fifteen years (Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williams or even Paolo Banchero for example), accepted that the “one-and-done” system would soon become obsolete.

While the NBA should allow, from the next collective agreement, high school students to join the League directly, the university box is no longer an unbreakable pillar in the training of a young “prospect”. Not to mention that if high school students still decide to train for one or two years before registering for a Draft, the options are now multiple and compete with the university league.

The 2023 Draft will also perfectly embody this change of prism in the minds of young talents, since four players expected in the Top 5 will not have played on the university circuit this season: Victor Wembanyama in Betclic Elite with Boulogne-Levallois, Scoot Henderson in the G-League with Team Ignite and the twins Amen et Ausar Thompson in Overtime Elite with the City Reapers.

« This demonstrates just how diverse the options available to gamers are today. noted Ausar Thompson, who just finished a season with 16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists as averages. ” The era of a single path to the League is over. We can now choose our own path, do differently from others, and reach the same point. »

Better preparation for the transition to professional basketball

In addition to the financial advantage, which allows players like the Thompson twins and Scoot Henderson to hit six-zero checks before even playing a second in the NBA, these alternative courses also offer an environment close to that which these young people players will know from the start of the next school year, while university players play “among themselves” and therefore discover the professional level more abruptly.

« Spending two years with Team Ignite allowed me to rub shoulders with adults

“assured Scoot Henderson. ” I played against former pros who are trying to find a place in the League. They’re wise old men, they know the game. I wouldn’t have learned anything from these guys if I had gone to college. »

The Team Ignite prodigy, who has just ended his season ahead of his preparation for the Draft, is even formal: “ it’s the future ” according to him. ” Coming to the NBA from abroad, from Ignite or OTE, it will become the norm. All the guys who will be [au sommet de la Draft] this year bet on themselves and chose their own paths. I salute them for that. »

Same story for Amen Thompson, who appreciates having ” could train [dans un contexte professionnel] before all the others “, and will now take the time, over the next few days, to quietly watch the March Madness, in particular to observe his future promotion colleagues.

« Some of the players who [participent à la March Madness] will face us next year. We’ll see what happens. We don’t have a preference when it comes to teams, we just hope to see some good basketball. »



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