Top Chinese prospect Fanbo Zeng signs with G League Ignite, eyes 2022 NBA draft


Fanbo Zeng, previously the No. 33 prospect in the ESPN class of 2022, told ESPN on Wednesday that he has signed with the NBA’s G League Ignite program and will declare for the 2022 NBA draft.

“This is the best and fastest way to become a pro, and also get better every day,” Zeng told ESPN. “This was the best decision I could make while I was in China. I’m not saying the NCAA isn’t good — just that the G League is the best way for me.”

Zeng spent three years playing high school basketball in Oregon and Florida but returned to China at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, originally committing to Gonzaga over scholarship offers from Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech and others before electing to pursue the professional route. He says he has grown 2 inches in the past 18 months and now stands 6-foot-11, while weighing 198 pounds.

Despite being previously classified as a high school senior in the United States, Zeng already has completed his coursework to graduate high school, agent Jiacheng Roman Liu told ESPN, making him eligible to enter the 2022 draft, which he plans to do.

Zeng arrived at the G League Ignite practice facility in Walnut Creek, California, last week and will be cleared soon for live action.

Zeng is one of the most promising prospects to come out of China in some time, garnering significant attention for his high-flying finishing ability and 3-point shooting. He averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.1 assists per game at Windermere Prep high school outside Orlando, Florida, as a sophomore in 2019-20, shooting 47% from 3-point range and establishing himself as a potential five-star recruit.

Having arrived in Oregon as a 14-year old, Zeng says that having spent much of his high school career in the U.S. will help ease his transition to Ignite.

“That changed everything for me — learning how to play with and against other athletic players,” he said. “In high school, I defended everyone: guards, forwards and even big men. I can fit in any…

Source : espn

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