One of the most promising young talents in the nation, forward Darius Bazley is not the typical teenager on the cusp of fulfilling his NBA dreams.
Currently a senior at his Cincinnati high school, Bazley was initially expected to be groomed by head coach Jim Boeheim and attend Syracuse University next year. Instead, Bazley had a change of heart and decided to forgo a collegiate career and enter the NBA’s developmental league, also known as the G-League.
With that decision, Bazley also hired representation and the agency he decided on is none other than Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports according to NY Times’ Adam Zagoria.
He has hired an agent: Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, a fellow Ohioan who represents the N.B.A. stars LeBron James, Ben Simmons and J.R. Smith. Paul declined to comment for this story, and Bazley’s mother, Lynnita Bazley, declined to make him available as well.
Klutch Sports and Rich Paul have one of the most respected reputations in the sports world, thanks in large part to the close affiliation it shares with LeBron James. Along with James, Klutch Sports also represents players such as Ben Simmons, John Wall, and Eric Bledsoe.
At just 17 years old, Darius Bazley has served as a sort of pioneer for other young prospects looking for alternative routes to the NCAA. Bazley isn’t the first of his kind, as a few before him have gone to the developmental league instead of college and even more have gone overseas. Hiring representation at this stage, however, does make him an outlier in that aspect.
After the “one and done” rule was established in 2006, many saw spending one year at a university as pointless, especially when the player is aiming for the NBA with no interest in a collegiate education. With the one and done rule and age restriction still in place, more players such as Bazley will continue finding other ways to get to the NBA until the rule is eventually lifted.