You, average human, probably went to high school for four years and then graduated. You were not an athlete at an elite prep hoops institution like Montverde Academy.
The K-12 school in the greater Orlando area has 1,125 students, with 660 of them in high school or college prep program. They wear uniforms, many of them actually live in the boarding residential halls, and there are 34 AP classes on offer.
And you can also get out a bit sooner than expected as Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com is reporting Jalen Duren will finish earlier than expected and head to either college or professional basketball this year instead of 2022. The 6’10 post is likely still growing, and has massive upside for the next level with a big-and-bouncy frame.
The options for elite talents like Duren have never been more plentiful. The NBA G-League is there, and if Duren chose that route he’d likely become a millionaire and have incoming teammates such as Jaden Hardy, Michael Foster Jr., and Scoot Henderson, all projected Top 10 recruits if they chose college instead.
The underaged-only Ignite team is coached by former Lakers champion Brian Shaw, who spent two years as the Nuggets head coach from 2013-15 as well. Because players have to be one year clear of high school graduation or 19 years old to qualify for the NBA Draft, the Ignite team gives them a place to play basketball until the big show can call them up.
As far as potential colleges, Zagsblog lists Villanova, Michigan, Miami, Auburn, Alabama, Kentucky, UCLA, Penn State and Memphis as his Top 9. But even if NIL rights are put in place for this season, he’ll likely make more as a full-time pro in the G-League.
And Duren will be one of the test cases if betting on marketability in college, or the guaranteed cash of becoming a pro will be the new trend.