Syracuse five-star recruit Darius Bazley, who played in the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday night, said he’s changed his mind about college and will head to the NBA’s development league.
The 17-year-old Bazley, a 6-foot-9 forward from Cincinnati, posted the announcement on his Twitter account on Thursday.
“Ultimately, playing professional basketball has always been my dream,” Bazley told Yahoo Sports. “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.”
Bazley, who had 11 points and seven rebounds in the McDonald’s all-star game, committed to Syracuse in July and signed with the Orange in November.
Players can’t enter the NBA draft until the year they turn 19, or if they are at least one year removed from their high school graduation class. Players can play in the G League as soon as they turn 18. Bazley will not turn 18 until June.
The G League is the NBA’s official minor league and usually conducts its draft in late October or early November, after NBA rosters are finalized.
Bazley’s decision is unique and could set a precedent if he’s a top pick in the 2019 NBA draft. It comes as NCAA leaders await recommendations from a committee for reforming college basketball.
“This is history in the making, and this could open up the doors for so many people behind him,” Bazley’s mother, Lynnita, told Yahoo Sports.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was en route to the Final Four and unavailable for comment. Yahoo Sports first reported Bazley’s decision.