R. J. Hampton

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R. J. Hampton
No. 14 – New Zealand Breakers
PositionPoint guard
LeagueNBL
Personal information
Born (2001-02-07) February 7, 2001 (age 18)
Dallas, Texas
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolLittle Elm (Little Elm, Texas)
Playing career2019–present
Career history
2019–presentNew Zealand Breakers

Roderick "R. J." Hampton Jr. (born February 7, 2001) is an American professional basketball player for the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League (NBL).

He attended Little Elm High School in Little Elm, Texas and was considered a five-star recruit and one of the top players in his class. Hampton was recruited by top NCAA Division I programs but chose to bypass college and play professionally.

He has played for the United States under-17 and under-16 national teams. He won gold medals at the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship and 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup.

High school career[edit]

Since his freshman season, Hampton played varsity basketball for Little Elm High School in Little Elm, Texas. In his first high school game on November 17, 2016, he led all scorers with 33 points in a 78–52 win over Naaman Forest High School.[1] As a freshman, Hampton averaged 23.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 3.5 steals per game, leading Little Elm to a 29–5 record and the District 14-5A title.[2][3] He was named to the MaxPreps Freshman All-American first team and earned Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Class 5A All-State and Dallas Morning News All-Area Newcomer of the Year honors.[3][4]

In May 2017, Hampton announced that he was transferring to Montverde Academy, a school in Montverde, Florida with an esteemed basketball program, for his sophomore year.[5] However, in August, he affirmed that he was returning to Little Elm.[2] In the 2017–18 season, Hampton averaged 30.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, six assists, 4.4 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game, guiding Little Elm to a 28–8 record.[6] He garnered MaxPreps Sophomore All-American first team, USA Today All-Texas first team, and TABC 5A All-State recognition.[6][7][8]

On December 14, 2018, Hampton scored 33 points in an 80–66 victory over South Garland High School, matching up against fellow coveted recruit Tyrese Maxey.[9] On December 29, he posted a career-high 50 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, and six steals in an 86–62 win over Coppell High School.[10] In February 2019, Hampton had another 50-point game in an 83–80 loss to Northwest High School.[11] As a junior, Hampton averaged 32 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 3.9 steals per game, helping Little Elm achieve a 24–10 record.[12] On March 15, he was named Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, becoming the first non-senior to win the award since Justise Winslow in 2013.[13] He also earned USA Today All-USA first team and MaxPreps All-American second team distinction.[14][15] On April 30, Hampton reclassified to the 2019 class, forgoing his senior year and graduating from high school after about three weeks of online classes.[16]

Recruiting[edit]

Hampton was a consensus five-star recruit and ranked among the top six players in the 2019 recruiting class.[17][18][19] On September 5, 2017, Christian Dawkins, an agent later indicted in the NCAA basketball corruption scandal, expressed a desire to pay Hampton in emails sent to business partners. When the emails surfaced in 2019, Hampton's father denied ever meeting Dawkins.[20] Before reclassifying on April 30, 2019, Hampton had been considered one of the best prospects in the 2020 class.[21] He narrowed down his potential college destinations to Kansas, Memphis, and Texas Tech.[22]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
R. J. Hampton
PG
Little Elm, TX Little Elm (TX) 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 180 lb (82 kg)  
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   Rivals:5/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN:5/5 stars   ESPN grade: 96
Overall recruiting rankings:   Rivals: 6  247Sports: 5  ESPN: 5
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

Professional career[edit]

New Zealand Breakers (2019–present)[edit]

On May 28, 2019, Hampton signed a multi-year deal with the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League (NBL), which is based in Australia, with the option to leave for the National Basketball Association (NBA).[23] He said that he skipped college basketball because he wanted to "live like a pro and to play with grown men and not have to juggle books and basketball."[24] Hampton joined the Breakers through the NBL Next Stars program, which aims to develop NBA draft prospects from other countries.[25][26]

National team career[edit]

Hampton won the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship with the United States national under-16 team.[27] He won another gold medal with the national under-17 team at the 2018 FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup but was hindered by a foot injury.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Hampton's father Rod Hampton played college basketball for SMU from 1987 to 1991.[29] His grandfather Richard Evans served in the Vietnam War.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, Bryan (November 17, 2016). "Time for hoops: Little Elm dismantles Naaman in season opener". Frisco Enterprise. Star Local Media. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Murphy, Bryan (August 7, 2017). "Home is where the heart is: Little Elm basketball star R.J. Hampton decides to stay with Lobos". Frisco Enterprise. Star Local Media. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Wixon, Matt (March 23, 2017). "SportsDayHS 2017 All-Area boys basketball teams, newcomer and coach of the year". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "2016-17 MaxPreps Boys Basketball Freshman All-American Team". MaxPreps. April 18, 2017. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Wixon, Matt (August 4, 2017). "R.J. Hampton, one of the nation's top basketball recruits, ditches Montverde Academy to stay at Little Elm". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Florek, Michael (March 22, 2018). "Meet the best boys basketball players in Dallas: The 2018 Dallas Morning News all-area team". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Divens, Jordan (April 17, 2018). "2017-18 MaxPreps Boys Basketball Sophomore All-American Team". MaxPreps. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  8. ^ "2017-18 ALL-USA Texas Boys Basketball Team". USA Today High School Sports. April 16, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Jennings, Randy (December 14, 2018). "R.J. Hampton, Little Elm top Tyrese Maxey, South Garland in showdown of Texas' top basketball prospects". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  10. ^ Jordan, Jason (December 29, 2018). "Chosen 25 PG R.J. Hampton scores career-high 50 points". USA Today High School Sports. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  11. ^ Murphy, Bryan (March 8, 2019). "Column: Hampton robbed of District MVP". Frisco Enterprise. Star Local Media. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "R.J. Hampton 2018 - 2019 Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year". Gatorade. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  13. ^ Hoyt, Joseph (March 15, 2019). "Little Elm star R.J. Hampton named Gatorade's Texas basketball Player of the Year and finalist for national award". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  14. ^ "2018-19 ALL-USA High School Boys Basketball: First Team". USA Today High School Sports. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  15. ^ Divens, Jordan (April 11, 2019). "MaxPreps 2018-19 High School Boys Basketball All-American Team". MaxPreps. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  16. ^ Hill, Drew (April 30, 2019). "Five-star Memphis basketball target R.J. Hampton reclassifies to 2019". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  17. ^ "R.J. Hampton, 2019 Point guard". Rivals. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  18. ^ "RJ Hampton, Little Elm, Combo Guard". 247Sports. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  19. ^ "R.J. Hampton". ESPN. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  20. ^ Schlabach, Mark (January 3, 2019). "Christian Dawkins' emails detail payment plans to several players". ESPN. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  21. ^ Newman, Logan (April 7, 2019). "Report: R.J. Hampton cuts list to four schools, could reclassify to 2019". USA Today High School Sports. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  22. ^ Boone, Kyle (May 28, 2019). "Five-star guard RJ Hampton to play in Australian NBL, rejects Kansas, Memphis, Texas Tech". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  23. ^ Slagter, Josh (May 28, 2019). "RJ Hampton, a top-5 national recruit, chooses to play pro basketball in New Zealand: 'You can always go back to college'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "Top US prospect R.J. Hampton signs with New Zealand team". The Washington Post. Associated Press. May 29, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  25. ^ "US Teen Sensation Signs with NZ Breakers". New Zealand Breakers. May 28, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  26. ^ "NBL to Fast Track Next Stars of the NBA". National Basketball League. March 2, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  27. ^ Zagoria, Adam (June 21, 2018). "R.J. Hampton looking to win second straight gold medal with USA Basketball, plans to cut college list during winter". ZagsBlog. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  28. ^ Riddle, Greg (July 8, 2018). "Denton Guyer's De'Vion Harmon and Little Elm's R.J. Hampton help USA win FIBA under-17 World Cup in Argentina". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  29. ^ Murphy, Bryan (January 17, 2018). "Leading the pack: No sophomore slump for superstar RJ Hampton". Little Elm Journal. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  30. ^ "R.J. Hampton". USA Basketball. January 15, 2019. Retrieved April 30, 2019.