Darius Bazley, the Princeton High School standout who announced in March that he would play in the NBA G League instead of at Syracuse – the school to which he committed after decommitting from Ohio State – said he has reconsidered and decided not to play in the G League, instead using the year to train and prepare for his professional career, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
“Talking about it over with my group, we felt confidently that the G League wasn’t going to be needed and now I can use this time to work on my craft,” Bazley told The Athletic. “It’s mainly me talking to [agent] Rich [Paul], he knows so much, and whenever he speaks my ears perk up. When Miles [Bridges] was in Cleveland for his predraft workouts, whenever he got a chance to work out in front of NBA teams, I was working out in the gym, too. So that played a part in it, me playing well in those workouts for us to say there’s no upside in the G League. If you play well, it’s expected. If you don’t play well, you’re not NBA-ready. That’s what they’ll say. For me, working out and preparing is the best route.
The 6-foot-9 forward explained in April that he was entering the G-League draft because it gave him the best opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim said he wished Bazley well, but insisted that the G League will never take the place of college basketball as a path to the NBA for a top prospect.
Bazley had 11 points and 7 rebounds in 17 minutes in the West Team‘s 131-128 win in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Atlanta. He talked and played with a young boy with leukemia named Alex as he prepared for practice before the game.
Bazley also was one of 12 players selected to the USA Junior National Team roster at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit in Oregon.
Bazley was named to the 2017 Naismith Boys’ High School Watch List.
Bazley participated in the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team minicamp in October.