Darius Bazley, a five-star high school basketball prospect, decommitted from Syracuse so he could play in the G League, he announced on Twitter on Thursday.
The 17-year-old Bazley, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from Ohio, is ranked the No. 9 prospect by ESPN. He scored 11 points in Wednesday's McDonald's All-American Game.
"He's lean, unable to play through contact, and just starting to establish his skill set," his ESPN scouting report reads, "but he's a late bloomer with a significant upside and proven learning curve that suggests he may just be scratching the surface of his potential."
Bazley will turn 19 in June 2019, which would make him eligible for next year's NBA Draft. Though he is not the first top prospect to bypass college, he is the first one to play in the G League. Brandon Jennings opted not to go to the NCAA so he could play in Europe in 2008, and Terrance Ferguson decommitted from Arizona in 2016 so he could play in Australia, Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania notes.
"I'm aware that this might start a trend," Bazley told Charania, "and that's one of the reasons why I am doing this, ... Part of me thinking this decision through, I looked at the guys coming out of the G League. I made sure that I knew what I was getting myself into. 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."
Bazley was also pursued by Florida, Louisville and Georgetown, but signed with Syracuse in July 2017 after he decommitted from Ohio State in April 2017.