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RJ Hampton actually signed with New Zealand a month ago


Remember the highly-anticipated announcement 2019 five-star combo guard RJ Hampton made on ESPN’s Get Up earlier this week?

According to Hampton himself, it was all for show.

In an interview with Bleacher Report, the 6-foot-4 athlete out of Little Elm, TX said that he actually made the decision to play overseas and signed with the New Zealand Breakers a month ago.

“The moment I knew I was not gonna play college basketball and go overseas was probably like a month ago when we like made the decision and signed the contract,” he said. “Like I didn’t tell anyone. When I couldn’t tell anybody, people were always speculating. Like some people would say it to my face, like, “Are you thinking about going overseas?” I’d just be like “I’ve got my top three, like Kansas, Memphis, and [Texas] Tech.”‘

Sources told KSR around the time of his reclassification that the overseas option was a serious one for Hampton, though the majority of buzz at the time was with China, not New Zealand. I was also told at the time that the five-star prospect would likely sign a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Puma, which is still the expectation in the near future.

Oddly enough, right around the time of the overseas rumblings was when Kentucky’s momentum died out a bit. I was told that Hampton and his family liked Kentucky the most out of all college options and that if he had stayed in the class of 2020 or if space cleared out in 2019, UK would have been the likely choice.

With the Kentucky backcourt filled and Hampton’s desire to get to the NBA as fast as possible not fitting in with UK’s timeline, it just didn’t work out for either side.

In fact, down at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, FL, Kentucky head coach John Calipari told reporters that he was aware of Hampton’s serious interest in playing overseas.

“I was surprised it was New Zealand, but I had heard that he was trying to [go overseas],” he said. “But I wish him well, he’s a good kid, it’s a good family.”

Hampton knew he was never going to play for Kansas or Memphis, but still led Bill Self and Penny Hardaway on like they had a shot for an entire month?

I need an RJ Hampton-New Zealand Breakers jersey pronto.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

29 responses to “RJ Hampton actually signed with New Zealand a month ago”

  1. A_Blue_Wildcat

    Look at his highschool tapes. He plays and acts like a punk show off kid who talks more than he can back up. This story is only fitting to him. He’s a good talent but will be another Brandon Jennings unless someone puts him in his place attitude wise, and unfortunately for him that was only going to happen in college not a lower tier pro league. But hey he’ll make more money in these next 10 years than any of us on here so I guess that’s all that matters right.

  2. KYjellyRoll

    Why would he lead these colleges on like that? Why couldn’t he tell anyone he was already headed overseas?

    1. runningunnin.454

      Punk move imo.

    2. KYjellyRoll

      100

  3. Catcasey1

    Why do we can

    1. runningunnin.454

      We don’t care, and I sure don’t want his jersey!

  4. ClutchCargo

    Yawn.

  5. Han

    For the sake of his own publicity, it makes sense. But for the sake of how he interacts with others, knowing those teams thought he was still considering them, it’s a jerk move. He doesn’t owe the fans answers, but if he signed a professional contract and let college teams keep recruiting him, that’s low. He wasted their time just to get more attention for himself. I hope he languishes in obscurity over there and regrets it.

  6. Bruce Dickinson

    I know he is young, but this was kind of a dirtbag move on his part.

  7. StuckinLville

    What a diva

  8. 1stkatman

    The elephant in the room in hind-site is that he wasn’t even eligible during that facade since he signed with an agent for a pro contract. He certainly took money to make it a deal setter.
    What a little douche’.
    If he is outstanding the NBA will sell their souls to get him back over here in the USA. Too bad!

  9. 4everUKblue

    This behavior goes back to upbringing IMO, if his father had been the right kind of role model this wouldn’t have happened.

    1. gobble gobble

      Oh, so you know his father personally??

    2. runningunnin.454

      We don’t know him personally; but, we see what they do. A week ago, the father was justifying cutting UK, saying our backcourt was set, and he knew the kid was going overseas.

    3. 4everUKblue

      Try using just a little common sense gobble if you have any.

    4. UK Maine-iac

      That’s one of the dumbest comments I’ve read in a long time, 4ever. Some good parents raise kids that end up turning into serial killers. Some bad parents raise kids that end up being volunteers for relief-aid. Saying the kid is like this because of his parents, unless you know it to be true, is you projecting something from your own life. Sad, really.

    5. 4everUKblue

      Sorry your kids went astray and turned into serial killers, most kids whose father is ever present in the life and development like RJ’s father is don’t turn out as you suggest, but thanks for playing and adding your ignorance to the comment section. His mother and father are moving to NZ with him and were moving wherever he was going, it is clear his father has been very hands on in his development, maybe you were so caught up in your own failure as a father that you couldn’t see that. Oh and by the way, I said in my opinion, which I am entitled to. Sad and pathetic little man.

    6. Matt10

      No offense 4ever but you are the biggest dichead on this site. Just when I think you can’t embarrass yourself any further…smh

    7. 4everUKblue

      Matt, with offense, you are not the biggest idiot but you’re very close. Being right is not embarrassing, you should try it scooter.

  10. mashman 93

    Not cool at all

  11. Papaw

    Every college basketball team in America dodged a bullet with this kid

  12. Smyrna_Cat

    So you mean the kid was not honest, and the “insiders” were clueless? Shocking, I say. Shocking.

  13. BeastAtom

    He said he “couldn’t” tell anyone. Sounds to me like someone told him not to say anything. I don’t think he made that decision on his own. It was probably his father, or perhaps an agent, but to what end? What did they stand to gain by not saying anything?

    1. nocode96

      Exposure and clicks in his, and his family’s name.

  14. 206Bones

    There is just a minute possibility that one day teams will get together and tell one of these players, “stay overseas, we don’t need your kind in the league”
    VERY SLIGHT!

  15. ukbradstith

    I’ll cut him some slack, I’m sure he had to say that for one reason or another.

  16. BBNBRIAN

    “Like”, “Like”, “Like”, “Like”… Enough with the misplaced modifiers! Like, not that he cares.

  17. G-Money

    Sorry, but that’s a douche move by him.

  18. ukcats1776.90

    Hampton told barstool sports last week he would’ve gone to Kansas if he hadn’t gone overseas – not Kentucky. he didnt really like Kentucky. it’s good for us he went to New Zealand