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Report: Elite high school players allowed to be repped by agent, return to school if undrafted

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Zion Williamson, Shareef O'Neal

The NCAA will now allow “elite” high school and prospective college athletes to be represented by an agent, while also permitting players to return to school if undrafted by the NBA, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

This is a huge progressive change, which is paving the way for the removal of the one-and-done era, as previously speculated during the last few meetings between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, with inclusion of the NCAA governing body.

A move like this will facilitate contact between NBA teams and high school prospects directly, while allowing the NCAA to retain its talent if players go undrafted after the league has selected its top 60 players in the NBA Draft.

According to the NCAA, an “elite” prospect, as identified by USA Basketball, will be able to hire an agent starting on July 1 before their senior year in high school, but only if/when the NBA and the NCAA allow high schoolers to enter the NBA Draft.

Players will be eligible to hire an agent after “any basketball season,” so long as they request an evaluation from the NBA undergraduate advisory committee, according to Charania.

College players will be able to enter the draft after each season has concluded, as usual — but they will have the option of returning to school if they go undrafted or are unable to find a viable deal to play professionally.

Soon enough, high school players will be able to break into the NBA without the need to play in college, much like other NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett first entered the league.

While this will be irrelevant for players like Zion Williamson, Nassir Little, Shareef O’Neal, and Romeo Langford, who have already committed to schools — others high school prospects can soon hire agents in hopes to a swift move to the NBA Draft.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver previously hoped that it could have a firm rule in place allowing high school talent to cross over to the NBA by 2020, but given the NCAA’s lead on the matter, it’s now much closer to becoming a reality.

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