The announcement came earlier than expected, but the result went just as everyone thought. Jonathan Kuminga, the consensus No. 1 high school prospect in the 2021 class, has chosen to bypass college basketball and pursue a professional career through the NBA G League pathway. Kuminga reclassified to the class of 2020, and has graduated from The Patrick School in New Jersey. He chose the G League over Texas Tech, Duke, Kentucky, and Auburn.
Kuminga was reportedly close to choosing to play at Texas Tech with his brother Joel Ntambwe. Ultimately, the G League won out. He will join other top prospects following this same path, including Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix, and Kai Sotto. Adam Zagoria reported the news a day earlier than Kuminga set his announcement for. Kuminga spoke to The Athletic‘s NBA insider Shams Charania about his decision:
Jonathan Kuminga Scouting Report
Originally hailing from the Congo, Jonathan Kuminga is a 6-8 small forward who boasts extreme athleticism and excellent versatility on the offensive end. He is able to score from close or deep and has solid skills as a ball handler and playmaker. Moreover, Kuminga is a solid defender and shot blocker. Following his reclassification from the 2021 class to the 2020 class, he went from the highest-rated prospect in his class to No. 4. Kuminga currently sits behind Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Jalen Green (G League), and Evan Mobley (USC) in the 2021 rankings.
Top prospects clearly consider the G League pathway a viable option, even in its infancy. The program is geared towards keeping USA products in the states versus playing overseas (re: RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball). Players in the G League pathway will become part of a Select Team that trains together and acclimates to an NBA environment. It remains to be seen how this NBA initiative will change the landscape for college basketball. As for Kuminga, he is widely expected to be a top five pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.