Texas Tech basketball fans will find out Monday if the top-rated high school player in the nation, Jonathan Kuminga, will play for the Red Raiders or head to the G-League.
Jonathan Kuminga-watch will soon finally be over. But will that mean that Texas Tech basketball fans will get to watch him in action in Lubbock next season? We will find out Monday.
Tech fans have been fantasizing over the idea of landing the top high school player in the nation for over a year since Kuminga’s older half-brother, Joel Ntambwe, transferred to Tech from UNLV last offseason. But along the way, an unexpected competitor emerged in this race, the NBA G-League.
For a few weeks, we’ve known that Tech was in Kuminga’s top 5 along with Kentucky, Duke, Auburn, and the G-League. But now, at least one insider is claiming that Tech has topped the list of NCAA schools vying for this transcendent talent.
According to Tobias Bass, whose Twitter profile says he is a sports journalist and podcaster, the decision is down to the Red Raiders and the G-League. So now, Chris Beard has found a new opponent to battle and this one can offer Kuminga as much a $500,000 above the table.
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So why might Kuminga turn down more money than almost any high school senior will ever make in his first year after graduation? Well, the list is rather lengthy.
First of all, Kuminga and Ntambwe have not played together at the highest levels of the game and that is something they may have only one more opportunity to do before one or both head to the NBA next offseason.
Second, Chris Beard has to be a more attractive head coach than any in the G League. After all, he’s worked wonders in turning Zharie Smith, Jarrett Culver, and likely Jahmi’us Ramsey into first-round NBA Draft picks. Thus, his reputation as a developer of talent far exceeds that of any coach that Kuminga might play for in the G League.
Also, the prestige of playing in the Final Four has to carry some weight. Kids don’t grow up dreaming about hitting the final shot of the G League finals but many have always dreamt of being the hero that carries his team to the National Title in college basketball. What’s more, being a Final Four hero will do more for a player’s profile than any accomplishments that can be achieved in the G League.
Additionally, even a one-year experience as a college athlete at a major university like Texas Tech has to be alluring. Being the so-called “big man on campus” has to be enticing and make no mistake, the moment Kuminga sits in a class in Lubbock, should that happen, he will be the biggest star in Lubbock.
Should this recruiting battle fall Tech’s way on Monday, the Red Raiders will not only have pulled off the biggest coup in the history of the program but they will have positioned themselves as Final Four favorites. That’s why Monday is a day that can’t come fast enough for everyone in scarlet and black.