Jonathan Kuminga is expected to be drafted within the first 14 picks of this year’s NBA Draft, but he didn’t take a conventional path to get there.
The 18-year-old passed up on going to college and instead decided to suit up for the NBA G League Ignite, which he sees as a better option.
“To me, the way G-League season went it prepares you way more than college ever could,” Kuminga said during an NBA Draft Media Availability. “Going to the G-League is way better than going to college.”
Kuminga also said he hopes to show teams how much he grew as a player and person while in the G-League, in addition to his shooting skills.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002, Kuminga moved to the United States in 2016, spending his freshman year of high school at Huntington Prep School in Huntington, West Virginia and sophomore year at Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York before ultimately graduating from The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey.
Along the way, Kuminga grew to idolize one of the best players to ever play the game, but also maintained deep confidence in himself.
“Just growing up, I watched more Kobe (Bryant),” Kuminga said. “That’s really the person I’m trying to model. I’m my own favorite player though.”
Kuminga went on to discuss how he aims to be the most talked-about player in the league in the next 4-5 years, winning championships and ultimately heading into the Hall of Fame at the conclusion of his career, displaying incredible “Mamba Mentality” in the process.