Reports: Kenyon Martin Jr. to skip college, pursue professional career

Kenyon Martin Jr., center, was set to join Scotty Pippen Jr., right, at Vanderbilt. Instead, Martin has decided to pursue a professional career. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Kenyon Martin Jr., center, was set to join Scotty Pippen Jr., right, at Vanderbilt. Instead, Martin has decided to pursue a professional career. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Another prominent high school basketball player is forgoing college to pursue a professional career.

Kenyon Martin Jr., the son of longtime NBA forward Kenyon Martin, has decided not to attend Vanderbilt, where he signed to play for new coach Jerry Stackhouse. Instead, he told 247Sports.com, he will sign a deal with a professional team, presumably overseas. He has yet to sign a contract.

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Martin, a 6-foot-6 forward from Chatsworth, California, signed to play for Vanderbilt in early May, choosing the Commodores over TCU, UCLA and West Virginia. Rivals.com rated Martin as a three-star prospect.

According to ESPN.com, Martin informed the Vanderbilt coaches of his decision earlier this week, when he was expected to enroll. Martin played at Sierra Canyon School in California alongside fellow Vanderbilt signee Scotty Pippen Jr., the son of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. The younger Pippen arrived on campus this week.

Vanderbilt is coming off a season in which it went 0-18 in SEC play after losing projected NBA lottery pick Darius Garland to a season-ending injury. After the season, the school fired Bryce Drew and brought in Stackhouse, a two-time NBA All-Star who played 18 seasons in the NBA.

Since retiring in 2013, Stackhouse has served as an NBA assistant and also had a three-season stint as the head coach of the G League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors.

Martin reportedly ‘influenced’ by R.J. Hampton

Martin is the second high school prospect to bypass college for a professional career in recent weeks. R.J. Hampton, one of the top players in the country, announced May 28 that he signed a contract to play for the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League, the professional league in Australia.

Hampton, a 6-foot-5 guard from Texas, was a five-star recruit in the 2019 class and ranked by Rivals as the nation’s sixth-best prospect. He said in multiple interviews that he plans to spend one season playing in the NBL before making the jump to the NBA.

Martin was “influenced” by Hampton’s decision, ESPN is reporting.

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