There’s been some online buzz recently about the possibility of UK basketball recruit Malik Newman reclassifying and graduating from high school a year early, which would make him eligible for college next season.
At this stage, that seems an unlikely scenario.
Newman’s high school coach in Mississippi — David Sanders — said his star player approached him Tuesday asking about reclassification after seeing a tweet about it. Sanders said that was the first time Newman had ever mentioned reclassifying, which is an indication that it’s not a serious possibility. Sanders added that he wasn’t aware of any discussions about Newman moving up a class.
“I don’t really see it happening,” he told the Herald-Leader. “But I definitely wouldn’t rule it out. I know he can play on that level right now.”
Even if Newman did reclassify, he wouldn’t be eligible for the NBA Draft until 2016. That means he would have to spend two seasons in college before given the option to go pro. NBA rules mandate that U.S.-born players be at least 19 years old on or during the calendar year of the draft to be eligible. Newman won’t turn 19 until 2016.
The 6-foot-3 guard is considered the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2015. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 6 player in the country regardless of class.
Sanders noted Newman’s thirst for playing against the best competition, which would be the primary reason to consider reclassifying.
“On the high school level, there’s not a lot of kids like him,” he said. “He’s looking for the best competition possible.”