Every year a few players decide not to play college basketball. Some players go to Europe, and some players play an extra year of prep school.
In 2006 the NBA created the “one-and-done” rule. The rule said, “You must be at least 19 years old and at least one NBA season must have elapsed since when he graduated from high school or, if he didn’t graduate, when he would have graduated.” via Sport Illustrated.
The “one-and-done” rule will most likely be taken down in 2022, though, only expect a few players each year to go straight to the NBA out of high school.
In this article I will discuss NBA players who didn’t go to college, and I will either list what college they were committed too or what college they would’ve gone too:
Moses Malone — Committed: Maryland
Shawn Kemp — Committed: Kentucky
Kevin Garnett — Kevin Garnett was a trailblazer, as he was the one of the first Prep to Pros players, and without him, many of the players on this list would have gone to college.
Some people think KG would have gone to Michigan or DePaul. Garnett loved Michigan and the Fab 5, and people thought DePaul because he wanted to team up with former high school teammate Ronnie Fields.
Garnett said he was planning on surprising everyone and committing to Maryland. Many people still believe he would have gone to Michigan, but I’m going to take Garnett’s word.
Final Prediction: Maryland
Kobe Bryant — Kobe was one of the hardest to pick. If Kobe had committed before he announced he was going pro, he would have gone to UNC. Kobe said he wanted to play against Vince Carter in practice everyday.
Another possibility was La Salle, because his dad was an assistant coach. If he decided to not play pro, he would have chosen Duke, because Coach K kept recruiting Kobe even after he announced he was going to play in the NBA.
Final Prediction: UNC/Duke/La Salle
Tracy McGrady — McGrady said he would have gone to Kentucky. McGrady still supports the Wildcats even though he never went to college. This team would have been great considering they won the ‘chip without T-Mac.
Final Prediction: Kentucky
Jermaine O’Neal — Committed: South Carolina
LeBron James — This is an easy one, as he would have gone to Ohio State. James said he would’ve played at Ohio State, and he has also led the Ohio State football team on the field before.
If LeBron went to college he would have dominated. Carmelo would have most likely been drafted by the Cavs and Lebron would have been taken by the Magic a year later.
Final Prediction: Ohio State
Dwight Howard — Howard was considering Duke, Georgia Tech and UNC. He said he favored UNC over Duke. UNC would go on to win the national championship without Howard.
Although people thought Duke, and Georgia Tech were possible destinations, he only visited UNC and Roy Williams said “Dwight Howard said if he didn’t go straight to the NBA, he would have come and played for me.”
Final Prediction: UNC
DeShawn Stevenson — Final Prediction: Kansas
Darius Miles — Final Prediction: St. Johns
Kwame Brown — Committed: Florida
Tyson Chandler — Final Prediction: Memphis/UCLA
Eddie Curry — Committed: DePaul
Amar’e Stoudemire — Committed: Memphis
Al Jefferson — Committed Arkansas
Shaun Livingston — Committed: Duke
Robert Swift — Committed: USC
JR Smith — Committed: UNC
Sebestian Telfair — Committed: Louisville
Andrew Bynum — Committed: UCONN
Lou Williams — Committed: Georgia
Monta Ellis — Committed: Mississippi State
Gerald Green — Committed: Oklahoma State
Brandon Jennings — Committed: Arizona
Anfernee Simons — A talented combo guard who decided to play an extra year at IMG, Simons was originally committed to Louisville. He de-committed when Rick Pitino was fired, but I think he would have eventually re-committed to Louisville.
Tennessee was also in the running, but I think he would have committed to Louisville. I think Simons would have played very well in college, and he would’ve become a lottery pick.
Final Prediction: Louisville
LaMelo Ball — While LaMelo Ball was committed to UCLA early on, a few years later he said “I thought I was going to go to USC and from there one and done.” At USC he could have teamed up with former Chino Hills teammate Onyeka Okongwu, and he could have created his own legacy instead of following Lonzo’s footsteps.
Once he came back from Europe the favorites were UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State. For LaMelo personally I think going to Australia was the right move, because he matured playing against grown men.
Final Prediction: USC
Emmanuel Mudiay — Committed: SMU
Thon Maker — Final Prediction: Arizona State
Terrance Ferguson — Final Prediction: Arizona
Darius Bazley — Final Prediction: Syracuse
RJ Hampton — Final Prediction: Kansas
Makur Maker — Final Prediction: Oregon
MarJon Beauchamp — Final Prediction: Arizona
Photo: USA Today