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Elite Shooting Guard Jaden Hardy Picks G League over College

Hardy becomes the third high school player from the 2021 class to opt for the pro route.

Jaden Hardy became the third high school prospect to opt for the pro route over the college route, picking the NBA G League over Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA and others on Saturday night.

Fanbo Zeng, a former Gonzaga commit, and Michael Foster both committed to the G League in the last two weeks.

“It was the best move for me,” Hardy said. “I never got the chance to take my official visits, so that made things harder. I feel like this is the right move for me, and I feel like I’m ready for it.”

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Hardy certainly looked like a pro in limited action this season, averaging 36 points a game with his club team and earning a spot on the SI All-American First Team. Hardy had some of his best games against fellow SI All-Americans.

“I feel like my game translates better at the pro level,” Hardy said. “I train for that level.”

At 6-foot-4, Hardy is the most lethal backcourt scorer in the country, regardless of class, because of his limitless and efficient range, quick release, strength and athleticism.

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Just a few steps past the halfcourt line and he’s in range, a devastating reality for defenders because of his elite versatility as a three-level scorer.

Last season, five high school players opted for the G League over college, including former SI All-American Player of the Year, Jalen Green, who is projected to be a top five pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

Hardy said he reached out to Green during the season to get his advice and perspective.

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“He told me it was a great experience and that they really took care of them,” Hardy said. “Most of all he said his game really grew and he learned a lot. That’s the biggest thing for me because I want to develop.”

Hardy never bought in to the notion that players miss out on key development and marketing by skipping out on March Madness.

“I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything with development by not going to college,” Hardy said. “And I feel like as much noise as I’m about to make people are gonna start tuning into it.”