Exactly 20 years ago, Kenyon Martin Sr. was the king of college basketball. The Cincinnati Bearcats were ranked No. 1 in America, he was the consensus National Player of the Year, and eventually became the top pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. His son has been on his own path to greatness, but he won't be able to top anything his dad did at the collegiate level.
Kenyon Martin Jr. is officially headed to the NBA. The 6-foot-7 forward has decided to skip college and declare for the 2020 NBA Draft. He originally committed to play for the Vanderbilt Commodores coming out of high school, but elected to play a post-graduate season instead.
While the top overall pick like his dad is probably out of the question, Martin Jr. is ready to live out his lifelong dream.
Kenyon Martin Jr. Declares for 2020 NBA Draft
Skipping college is not necessarily uncommon, but it is pretty rare these days given the draft eligibility rules. Anfernee Simons went the post-graduate route. Players such as LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton elected to go overseas. There are ways around it, obviously, and Martin Jr. found the perfect loophole to get him to where he wants to go.
After graduating from Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth — the same Southern California school LeBron James Jr. currently attends — Martin Jr. enrolled at IMG Academy in Florida, where he averaged 20 points and eight rebounds this past season, according to ESPN.
"First, I would like to thank god for blessing me with the ability to play the game that I love. I would like to thank my family for being here every step of the way. I would also like to thank the coaching staff, the weight trainers, my teammates, and everyone at IMG who helped me through that chapter of my life. I appreciate everyone who has supported me and my decisions is up to this point. There was a lot of hate and doubt about my journey but I feel I've done what was best for me and now is the time to take the next step which is to Declare for the 2020 NBA Draft. It has been a lifelong dream of mine and I will continue to work day by day to prove to myself and everyone that this is where I belong. THE NEXT CHAPTER STARTS NOW LETS GET IT!!"
Only time will tell where Martin Jr. will land in the draft, but his dad laid the perfect blueprint for professional success.
In 15 years of pro ball, Martin Sr. played for the Nets, Denver Nuggets, Xinjiang Flying Tigers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks. He helped the Nets make it to the NBA Finals in 2002 and made the NBA All-Star team in 2004.
The 6-foot-7 Martin Jr. definitely has the athleticism for the next level, and he will be anxious to hear his name called in the upcoming draft.
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