Video: LaMelo Ball high school highlights
Could youngest Ball brother go No. 1 in 2020 draft?
The NBA mandated in 2006 that American players must be at least 19 years old and one basketball season removed from high school graduation in order to be draft eligible.
That launched the one-and-done era with many elite prospects spending a season in college before embarking on their professional careers. A few bypassed the NCAA route in favor of playing overseas.
Over the past three years more players are testing the professional route.
Three prospects from the Class of 2018, four from the Class of 2019 and at seven from the Class of 2020 have elected to pursue professional opportunities following their senior year of high school.
Signed a one year, $1.65 million contract with Lottomatica Roma of the Italian Series A for the 2008-09 season. In 27 games, he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists per game while playing 17 minutes per contest. He was the No. 10 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Jennings played nine seasons in the NBA, averaging 14.1 points, 5.7 assists and three rebounds per outing. He earned $40.5 million over the course of his NBA career, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
were rumors the Chinese Basketball Association reportedly offered Williams
$100,000, he opted to play in the NBA D-League where he earned a
salary of $19,000. After a season there, Williams was drafted
No. 48 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, however he never received a
contract offer from a NBA team. Williams has played for 14
different teams internationally across eight different countries and is currently with Hapoel Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League.
In a unique case, Tyler chose to skip his senior year of high school when he announced his intention to sign overseas with Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Super League for the 2009-10 season. After short stints in Israel and Japan, Tyler was selected with the No. 39 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He played 104 games over three seasons, averaging 3.6 points per contest. Since his time in the NBA, Tyler has spent time in Australia, China, Philippines and now plays for Atleticos de San German in Puerto Rico.
Standing 5-foot-6, Carr made a name for himself with his elite scoring ability and flashy play. After high school, he was selected in the third round of the NBA D-League Draft in 2013 before going undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft. Carr went on to play in Canada's National Basketball League before returning to the Baltimore area to play for the Baltimore Hawks of the American Basketball Association. In 2019, he set a single game franchise record with 65 points.
Mudiay signed a one year, $1.2 million contract with Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2014-15 season. He averaged 18 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in 12 games in China before declaring for the NBA Draft. Mudiay was selected No. 7 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft and has played in the NBA for five seasons, averaging 11.1 points, 3.8 assists and three rebounds per game in 294 career games. Mudiay has earned approximately $15.8 million in his NBA career thus far.
Thon Maker, Athlete Institute Academy (Ontario, Canada), 2016
After spending his freshman and sophomore seasons at Carlisle (Martinsville, Va.)
, Maker attended Athlete Institute Academy in Canada for his final two years of school. Upon graduation, Maker became the first player in the one-and-done era to declare for the NBA Draft straight out of high school after being declared eligible after taking a prep year. Maker was selected with the No. 10 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and has played in 255 games through four NBA seasons, while averaging 4.7 points per outing. He has earned $11.6 million in his NBA career.
Following his senior year of high school, Ferguson announced his intention to play in Australia's National Basketball League. He joined the Adelaide 36ers for the 2016-17 season, averaging 4.6 points per game before declaring for the NBA Draft. Ferguson was selected with the No. 21 pick in 2017 and has played three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 4.9 points per contest in 185 games. Ferguson has made approximately $6.4 million over his first three seasons.
After taking a prep year at IMG, Simons was eligible for the NBA Draft and taken with the No. 24 pick in 2018. Through two seasons with the Trailblazers, Simons is averaging 7.6 points per game and played in 65 games this past season. The 6-3 guard has made approximately $4 million in his first two seasons.
While Robinson spent some time at Western Kentucky, he never suited up for a game and ultimately sat out a year after his senior year of high school before being selected with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 7-0 center has shown promise in two seasons in the NBA, averaging 8.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per contest in 127 games. Robinson's initial NBA contract is four years worth $6.5 million.
After announcing plans to enter the NBA G-League, Bazley opted to sign a three-month internship worth $1 million with New Balance. He was selected with the No. 23 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, averaging 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 53 games played this season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bazley made $2.3 million as a rookie.
One of the most publicized high school athletes of the 20th century, Ball was pulled out of high school prior to his junior season to play professionally with Prienai in the Lithuanian Basketball League. After a short stint with Prienai, Ball returned to the United States to play in the Junior Basketball Association before taking a prep year at Spire Institute. Last season, Ball starred in Australia's National Basketball League, playing in 12 games and averaging 17.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per contest. He is a projected lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Armstrong averaged 2.2 minutes per game and played in eight games this season for South East Melbourne Phoenix of the National Basketball League. He recently declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, though projections have him going undrafted.
After his junior season of high school, Hampton decided to reclassify and skip his senior year of to pursue a professional career, signing with the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League. He averaged 8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 15 games this year. Hampton is a projected lottery pick in this year's NBA Draft.
Lecque went undrafted in 2019 before signing with the Phoenix Suns in July. He spent most of his rookie season in the G-League, playing in four games in the NBA and averaging 2.5 points per contest. Lecque's initial NBA contract is three years for $4.2 million.