Darius Bazley, considered a likely lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has decommitted from Syracuse and will play in the NBA G League, according to Yahoo Sports.
The 6-8 forward from Cincinnati's Princeton High School becomes the first top prep prospect to skip the "one-and-done" college route to play professionally in the G League.
“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 (Wright), 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."
Considered a consensus top-10 recruit in the class of 2018, Bazely had committed to Syracuse in July 2017. Whether his decision to skip college for the G League remains an anomaly or starts a new trend remains to be seen. Other players, including Lonzo Ball's youngest brother, LaMelo, have skipped college to play pro basketball in Europe.
Bazley told Yahoo Sports the G League has much to offer.
“The G League will have the most to offer, considering that is the development league for the NBA,” Bazley said. “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."