Former Breaker RJ Hampton 'nervous' ahead of life-changing NBA draft

Former Breaker RJ Hampton is less than 24 hours away from a life-changing decision with the 19-year-old anxiously waiting to see where he'll land in this year's delayed NBA draft.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Hampton is expected to go in the first round of tomorrow's draft after choosing the NBL over the US college system. Source: 1 NEWS

The 19-year-old made headlines last year when he decided to skip the tradition US college path to the NBA for a season with the Breakers as part of the NBL's Next Stars programme.

Tomorrow at 1pm NZT, he finds out if that decision was the right one.

“I’m pretty nervous. I’m feeling I’m confident in my work,” Hampton said.

“Pretty much just nervous about where I’m going to go, where I’m going to live. It’s a big step.”

Hampton's season at the Breakers was a rollercoaster with American averaging 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 15 games played.

He shot 40 per cent from the floor and 30 per cent from three-point range while his free throw shooting sat at 68 per cent.

Along with those numbers and his well-documented agility, Hampton is projected to go in the middle of the first round which has led ESPN to setting up a film crew in his living room to capture the moment his name is called out. 

Hampton is one of 14 players to be given such treatment by the sports broadcasting giant but he believes there won't be much to film besides the moment itself.

"I'll probably wake up, eat some breakfast, do a couple of interviews," Hampton said.

"Around four or five [local time], family will start coming over to the house, everything will be set up and I'll put my suit on maybe 30 minutes before so I don't sweat everything up.

"It's really just a chill day."

Hampton believes his time in New Zealand, both on and off the court, helped him become more grounded ahead of the next step in his basketball career.

“I would have never thought in a million years I would end up in New Zealand, but just looking back on it and how much I progressed as a player and a person, I’m so glad I did.

“I think the life experiences and the basketball that was played over there in New Zealand is only going to benefit me so much.”

Breakers owner Matt Walsh predicts Hampton to go inside the top 10, believing the Washington Wizards will take him at ninth overall.

“He's got that special NBA level speed and athleticism and that's something you can't teach.

“If he's able to develop a few parts of his game, I see him as that John Wall, Russell Westbrook kind of guard that can change the game in just a blink of an eye. I think he's an uber-talent.”

Fellow NBL Next Star LaMelo Ball is one of the few names being mentioned to go first overall in tomorrow's draft after an impressive season at the Illawarra Hawks.

Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games.