Fanbo Zeng announced on Wednesday his intention to sign with the NBA’s G League Ignite program to enlist his name on the 2022 NBA draft. Before choosing to sign with the G League program, he bypassed college offers from Florida, Florida State, and Virginia Tech to sign up for Gonzaga. He decided to decline Zags’ offer, following the path of recent lottery draft picks Jonathan Kuminga (Golden State Warriors) and Jalen Green (Houston Rockets).
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Zeng is considered to be one of the top prospects coming from China. During his sophomore year at Windermere Prep High School, he averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 2.1 assists per game in 2019-20, drawing attention as a potential five-star recruit. He returned to China at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fanbo shed light on his potential plans on ESPN.
“This is the best and fastest way to become a pro and get better every day,” Zeng told ESPN. “That was the best decision I could make in China. I’m not saying the NCAA isn’t good – just that the G League is the best path for me. “
Only two Chinese players have been drafted into the NBA in the past 15 years. There have been no Chinese players in the NBA since 2018 since Zhou Qi played for the Houston Rockets. League officials told ESPN that “increasing the visibility of the NBA in China is a major priority for the future.”
The G League Ignite is coached by Jason Hart, co-founder of the Black Coaches Association.