Ranking Every NBA Player Who Skipped College From Worst To Best
I personally miss the days when players could go right from high-school to the NBA, absolutely changing their lives in a span of a year. While it does take some away from the college basketball world, it should be up to the player if they want to attend college or go straight to the league. Enough of my opinion though, as if anything the league is starting to gravitate to not only having all young players attend college, but the one and done option for players may be removed in favor of two or more years in college.
Imagine if LeBron played for Ohio State or Kobe for Duke. College basketball has missed out on a few legends who went straight from high-school to the pros. In this article, we will be power ranking every NBA player who skipped college and went straight to the pros. The thing about high school ballers turned pro is that obviously the transition from high school basketball to the pros is a big one, and some players performed much better than others.
In order to be eligible for this list, the players had to have been drafted out of high school. That gives us a total of 44 players. There are others who did eventually play in the NBA without playing college basketball, but they will be left off our list.
Here is our power ranking of every NBA player who skipped college from worst to best.
44. RICKY SÁNCHEZ
Ricky Sanchez was a Puerto Rican basketball player who found some success in the BSN(Baloncesto Superior Nacional) as a high-schooler, which led him to turn some heads in the American realm of he basketball world. Sánchez was drafted in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft to the Portland Trailblazers, who took him with the 35th overall selection, making him the fourth Puerto Rican player drafted into the NBA. He was immediately traded to the Denver Nuggets for their draft selection, Jarrett Jack. Jack ultimately ended up having a much better NBA career than Sánchez, as Ricky never ended up playing a game in the NBA as his rights were traded multiple times around the league. A solid BSN player, he was a four time all-star and even won a championship in 2012.
43. OUSMANE CISSE
Ousmane Cisse went to Montgomery Catholic High-School in Alabama, where he won two state championships. He even broke the Alabama High-School record for most blocked shots in just the first half of one of his games. At 6’9″, Cisse was a big body which is why NBA teams took an interest to him even with his decision to come into the league without going to college. He declared for the 2001 NBA Draft, and ended up being drafted 46th to the Denver Nuggets. Getting injured before the season started, he was released by the team. He then moved to the Harlem Globetrotters, but after a year signed with the Magic and then the Raptors, never playing a game in the National Basketball Association.
42. SATNAM SINGH BHAMARA
Satnam Singh Bhamara made history for his country, when he became the first Indian born player to be drafted into the best basketball league in the world, when the Dallas Mavericks selected him with the 52nd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. At 7’2″, the height is definitely there for Satnam, but the skill still needs to be developed. Bhamara got to study under the IMGR basketball training academy which was also a school, but due to his lack of English, he was ineligible to receive any scholarships to any NCAA schools. This allowed him to declare for the draft, and while he was drafted, he has yet to play a game in the league and is currently apart of the Texas Legends of the D-League.
41. KORLEONE YOUNG
Drafted 40th overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1998, NBA scouts thought Korleone Young was going to be a solid player even after his decision to skip college and go straight to the pros. Little did they know that Korleone Young would go on to be the worst high-school player to ever play in the NBA, as he only played three games over the course of his career ending up with a total of 15 points in his career. An injury led to the Pistons cutting ties with their draft selection, and while he did have some Summer League appearances with the Philadelphia 76ers, Young never made another appearance in the NBA and ended up being the worst player drafted out of high-school.
40. NDUDI EBI
Ndubi Edi was supposed to be a great wing player from Nigeria, or at least thought to be as the Timberwolves used their first round draft pick(26th pick) on him in the 2003 NBA Draft. Edi was supposed to be a nice compliment to superstar Kevin Garnett, but sadly, Edi turned out to be a complete bust, as he only managed to play 19 games with the Wolves over the course of his two year career. After his failed stint in Minnesota, no NBA team bothered to offer him a contract and he spent the rest of his basketball career playing overseas.
His most recent overseas signing came with the Shahrdari Tabriz of the Iranian Super Basketball League. That makes a total of NINETEEN different teams since leaving the NBA.
39. JAMES LANG
James Lang was drafted with the 48th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, but he didn’t make the team. When looking at the loaded 2003 class, it’s easy to see why Lang was viewed as such a disappointment. He did get a chance to play with the Wizards the next season. Lang only got to see a total of 55 minutes over 11 games with the Wizards over his career, finishing with a career total of 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists.
A back injury hurt Lang’s chances of being a real NBA player, as he played more in the D-League and overseas than in the NBA. Sadly, a stroke he suffered in 2009 ended his basketball career.
38. LEON SMITH
The Dallas Mavericks organization definitely doesn’t like hearing the name Leon Smith, as they traded two second round picks to grab him with the 25th pick of the 1999 NBA Draft. The team believed that he was going to be a solid contributor for them, however Smith was found passed out that summer in his home as he overdosed on aspirin. He made his official debut in 2002 with the Atlanta Hawks, playing 14 games for them and one game for the SuperSonics two seasons later.
His career ended up lasting a small total of just 104 minutes, where he scored a total of 33 points, 33 rebounds, and three assists.Following his shortlived NBA career, Smith had a short stint in Argentina with Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca.