Top prospect Jonathan Kuminga chooses G League Select Team over college

College basketball received another huge blow on Wednesday when Jonathan Kuminga, one of the best prep players in the country, chose the G League Select Team over Kentucky, Duke, Texas Tech and Auburn.

Kuminga,17, will join fellow five-star recruits Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix in what is turning out to be an astounding collection of talent for the G League.

“I see myself as an NBA player and this G League team is going to help me develop my skill and reach my goal to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft,” Kuminga said on Instagram Live. “I’m really motivated, and I’m going to keep working hard to reach that goal.”

Kuminga’s older brother, Joel Ntambwe, currently plays at Texas Tech and if Jonathan were going to college, the Red Raiders were the heavy favorite. Before reclassifying to the 2020 recruiting class, Kuminga was the No. 1 player in the 2021 class and dominated opponents with ease. He has a solid 210-pound frame and is a versatile 6-foot-8 player who can drop down low to the block in a mismatch situation.

NORWALK, CA - JUNE 02: Jonathan Kuminga from Our Savior New America looks on during the Pangos All-American Camp on June 2, 2019 at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jonathan Kuminga from looks on during the Pangos All-American Camp in 2019 in Norwalk, California. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“He’s the epitome of a new age wing-forward who can create his own offense, defend multiple spots and impact the game on both ends of the floor,” recruiting analyst Corey Evans said. “He’ll be a guy that a lot of NBA teams will want to get their eyes on before the 2021 draft.”

Todd, who joined the G League in April, is looking forward to playing with Kuminga. “I love his game. I think he has a real mature game for his age in terms of offense and scoring, and I like watching him play,” Todd told Yahoo Sports. “Our potential is through the roof because of how young we are and this is a team to remember. We’re like sponges right now and us learning the NBA game this early is so beneficial for us.”

The coronavirus pandemic in the United States is still a factor, so no one knows if there will be a college basketball or G League season after their 2019-20 seasons were canceled in March. The inaugural Select Team is supposed to play a 20- or 25-game independent schedule, giving NBA scouts access to evaluate the players.

“I hope we have a season. Maybe I hope so much that I really believe we will have one, but nobody knows yet and we’re all just waiting to see what competitive basketball will look like in the fall,” Todd said.

This G League Select Team is turning out to be a future path for top elite prospects. If NBA teams are looking at top-five lottery picks, they’ll have some talented options in the G League.

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