N.C. State commit Jalen Lecque considering jump straight to NBA

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Top N.C. State recruit Jalen Lecque will consider making the leap straight from high school to the NBA next spring.

In a report from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Lecque, who is currently doing a fifth year of high school at Brewster Academy, is weighing his basketball future as he begins an important final season of prep ball. A five-star prospect, and widely considered to be one of the best athletes in the national Class of 2019, Lecque is already drawing NBA scouts to see him play early this season.

“I am interested in everything because the NBA is my goal at the end of the day,” Lecque said to Givony. “I want to be a great college player, but my end goal is to help my family. I want to be a concrete Round 1 player if I do make that decision. If I’m guaranteed a Round 1 position, then you never know. I could see myself doing it if I am in a good position at the end of the year. A college education is so important and making that jump is really hard, so I really gotta think about that, but if I’m Round 1, then that’s different.”

As Givony notes in his report, since Lecque didn’t technically receive a high school diploma from Christ School, his previous stop, he will likely need to petition the NBA to enter the draft. That process involves submitting paperwork to the league office and declaring himself eligible for the draft by the early entry deadline of April 21. But since Lecque turns 19 during the calendar year of the draft, while also being a year removed from his original high school graduating class, that he would likely be allowed into the draft.

Regarded as the Rivals’ No. 28 overall prospect in the national Class of 2019, Lecque is N.C. State’s only commitment so far. While Lecque has a lot of positive tools to work with for his basketball future, including elite leaping ability and athleticism, he is still transitioning into attempting to play more on the ball. Lecque’s shaky perimeter jumper — he went 9-for-57 from three during Nike EYBL play this spring and summer — will also be something to monitor during his season at Brewster.

If Lecque can show scouts that his jumper is workable, then he could be an intriguing player during the NBA Draft process. Even if Lecque opts to test the NBA draft waters, he could always back out of the pro commitment and still go to the Wolfpack for his freshman season — similar to what Hamidou Diallo did before his freshman season at Kentucky.