Abdur-Rahim On NCAA: "I Don’t Think It’s A Competition"

Shareef Abdur-Rahim does not believe that the G League, which signed three elite prospects, is competing with the NCAA for players

Tiki and Tierney
May 06, 2020 - 6:33 pm
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Three five-star high school prospects – Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix – have opted to skip college basketball and play in the G League. These players likely won’t be the last prospects to make this decision, either.

Does the NCAA have a little competition on its hands?

“I don’t think it’s a competition,” G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim told Tiki & Tierney. “The way I’ve explained it is we signed three young players, and we’re excited about them. We’re really excited to have them, and maybe a couple of others will join. But that’s in the larger scheme of 200 or 300 players – high school kids – that will go play high-level Division I basketball. I wouldn’t consider that a competition. I think this is a really unique opportunity for a unique talent. If they want to come into the G League and spend a year with us on their path to the NBA, we welcome them in. It’s not for every kid.”

Abdur-Rahim said the G League is targeting a specific type of high school prospect.

“[This] is for those kids that are tracking towards the NBA,” he said. “ I think that’s a really different model from what the NCAA is offering. That’s totally different. It’s new, it’s different, so I understand why it would come with some confusion.”

Abdur-Rahim, the No. 3 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, explained the G League’s process for recruiting these players.

“We have a group that’s out and educating folks about what we offer in the G League,” he said. “We have a group that’s out kind of evaluating and making sure that we’re talking about the right young man with the right attitude and the right approach – and that is tracking toward the NBA. It can’t just be a kid that doesn’t want to go to college, so to speak.”