news 1 week ago

Kenyon Martin Jr. says he’ll skip college basketball at Vanderbilt to turn pro

Sporting News — (Bob Hille)

Kenyon Martin Jr., the son of longtime NBA player and University of Cincinnati star Kenyon Martin, will skip playing college basketball at Vanderbilt to pursue options at the professional level, he told 247Sports on Wednesday. 

He becomes the second national recruit in as many weeks to opt for professional basketball over college. RJ Hampton last week signed a deal with a pro team based in New Zealand that plays in Australia's National Basketball League rather than playing collegiately at his choice of top Division I programs.

Hampton's decision to skip college influenced Martin, unidentified sources told ESPN, though Hampton is rated a five-star prospect and projected first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

In contrast, Martin, a 6-6, 195-pound power forward, is rated a three-star prospect and ranked 47th nationally at his position, according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings, and far from being ready to play in the NBA, as his father did for 15 seasons. Kenyon Martin was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft after a stellar career at Cincinnati capped by being named national player of the year in 2000.

Martin committed on May 5 to Vanderbilt, where he was expected to join high school and Nike EYBL teammate Scotty Pippen, also a son of a former NBA player, Hall of Fame inductee Scottie Pippen.

Martin averaged 16.7 points and 9.8 rebounds his senior season for Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California.

He was to arrive this week at Vanderbilt, along with Pippen, as part of new Commodores coach and former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse's first recruiting class. Instead, Martin informed the Vandy staff of his decision, an unidentified source told 247Sports, which added that Martin said he had yet to sign a professional deal.