Mikey Williams playing college basketball?
As the five-star 2023 recruit and social media phenomenon ends its junior season at Charlotte’s Vertical Academy, it looks more and more like an opportunity – despite some lucrative professional opportunities.
The latest hint came on Sunday when national high school basketball insider Samad Hinesthat Williams, 17, would remain at the Vertical Academy, an independent start-up, in his senior season 2022-23.
Williams and his father also confirmed this timeline – as well as his current plan to play a season of college basketball in 2023-24 and then participate in the 2024 NBA Draft – in separate interviews earlier this year.
“He’s definitely going to college,” Mahlon Williams, Mikey’s father, told the Charlotte Observer in February. “He and I had a really long discussion about it a few days ago. “Every six months or so, we measure in a way where we are, and he wants to be a part of the university environment.”
Asked about playing in college, Williams added: “That’s the plan right now. It’s a route (to the NBA) that I would not say is guaranteed, but I have a good chance it will lead to the next level after that. . ”
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Why is it important for Williams to stay at the Vertical Academy? It basically paves the way for his eligibility for college: something Williams would not have if he joined e.g. The Overtime Elite League, which offers high school, is recruiting a minimum wage of $ 100,000 to join its European basketball academy set-up.
As described in March by Sports Illustrated, high school players joining Overtime Elite lose their college eligibility in full under current NCAA rules because the program pays them for their work product as opposed to solely their name, image and likeness (which the NCAA began allowing last year).
Future NIL developments may make it a controversial point, SI reported, but the distinction remains relevant for recruits in 2023, such as Williams, who according to his father was contacted by the Overtime Elite.
Staying at the Vertical Academy puts Williams on the following timeline: Play his final high school season in 2022-23, play a season of college basketball in 2023-24, and enter his name in the 2024 NBA Draft.
Plans are fluid, and the middle ground can always change. But Williams and his father have reiterated their interest in playing a season of college basketball – as opposed to a paid year abroad or with the NBA-backed G League Ignite or Overtime Elite’s postgraduate team or another option – for over a year now.
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As for where? It still needs to be decided. Williams released a first top 10 list after his freshman season that included Arizona State, Kansas, Memphis, San Diego State, Southern Cal and five HBCUs: Alabama State, Durham-based North Carolina Central, Hampton, Tennessee State and Texas Southern .
But he fully reopened his recruitment last summer to get a better picture of his options and has yet to release any new finalists. Williams took an unofficial visit to Southern Cal in February (he came up in California and played his first year in San Diego) and has gotten some NC Central buzz on On3.
“He has a couple of HBCUs on his list and so it will always be an option for him,” Mahlon Williams told the Observer about his son. “He also has some mid-major and some high majors.”
Williams ranks as the No. 1 junior in North Carolina, the No. 3 combo guard in his class and the No. 15 overall recruit in his class, based on 247Sports composite ratings. He averaged 23 points, six assists and 4.5 rebounds per game as a junior for the Vertical Academy, which played in showcase tournaments across the country.
Williams is also a social media star with 5.9 million followers across Instagram, TikTok and. Last year, he became the first high school athlete to sign a NIL deal with a major sports marketing agency, Excel Sports Management, and a global footwear brand, PUMA. Williams has a NIL rating of $ 2.6 million, the second-best of all high school and college athletes, according to the new On3 NIL 100.
Chapel Fowler is a recruitment reporter for The Fayetteville Observer and the United States TODAY Network. Reach him via email at email@example.com or on Twitter at.