July 16 (UPI) -- Jonathan Kuminga -- a Top 5 high school basketball prospect -- has decided to participate in the NBA G League professional pathway program instead of playing college basketball.
The former Patrick School (Hillside, N.J.) star announced his decision Wednesday. Kuminga is the No. 4 prospect in the 2020 ESPN 100 and in the Top 247 rankings. He had considered Kentucky, Texas Tech, Auburn and Duke before he decided to skip college basketball. Kuminga said he would have picked Texas Tech, where his brother Joel Ntambwe plays, if he didn't go to the program.
The 6-foot-8, 217-pound forward is projected to be a Top 5 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but believes he is the top player in the draft class. Kuminga was the top prospect in the 2021 class before he graduated high school early and reclassified to the class of 2020.
"I'm really motivated," Kuminga told The Athletic. "I'm going to keep working hard to accomplish that goal. I know I am the No. 1 player and I'm going to keep working to be the guy I want to be."
Kuminga joins four other prospects from the 2020 ESPN 100 who have chosen the pathway program over college. No. 1 prospect Jalen Green in April was the first to announce the move. No. 5 Isaiah Todd, No. 21 Daishen Nix and No. 65 Kai Sotto followed Green to the program, which provides one year of development outside the league's traditional team structure. Players in the program are paid and can enter the NBA Draft the year after they participate.
Kuminga averaged 22.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists last spring and summer on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit.