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NBA lottery prospect RJ Hampton out 4 weeks with hip injury

RJ Hampton, NBA

RJ Hampton, formerly one of the premier players in the 2020 college basketball recruiting class who spurned college to play overseas, has reportedly sustained a hip injury and will miss at least the next four weeks of action.

Hampton was a five-star recruit coming out of high school in Little Elm, Texas. He narrowed down his collegiate choices to Kansas, Memphis and Texas Tech before ultimately choosing to enter the professional ranks and join the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League.

So far this season, Hampton has played in 12 contests and averaged 9.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest while shooting 43 percent from the floor overall. Still just 18 years old, Hampton is playing admirably in the premier league for Australia and New Zealand.

As of Sunday, per Givony’s latest ESPN mock draft, Hampton is projected to go fifth overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. Hailed as one of the best high school players to head overseas in the past decade, Hampton’s Draft value likely isn’t severely affected by his hip ailment, provided that it doesn’t sideline him longer or leave any lasting effects.

Hampton is technically under contract with the Breakers beyond this season, although his deal reportedly allows for him to leave early to pursue the NBA should he choose to do so.

With an impressive finish to his campaign in the NBL — coupled with a strong showing at the NBA Combine — Hampton could put himself in the conversation for the top pick in the 2020 Draft.