MarJon Beauchamp is following in Darius Bazley’s footsteps.
Before the first day of his senior year in high school, the 6-foot-6 Class of 2020 wing announced on Thursday that he will be skipping out on college, instead opting to spend the 2020-21 season training on his own to prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft.
“I’m genuinely humbled by all the interest and offers I received by some great schools,” MarJon said in a statement released by Chameleon BX, the company he will be training with. “Although they were tough to turn down, I believe the Chameleon BX program provides the kind of personalized attention I need to get my body and game properly prepared for pursuing my dream of a career in the NBA.”
Bazley was the first player to do this voluntarily*. A former Syracuse commit, he decided to skip college altogether, initially hoping to head to the G League before making the (correct) decision to sit out, train and prepare for the 2019 draft. He was a first round pick as a result. Mitchell Robinson did the same, but that was after he enrolled at Western Kentucky, then left, then tried to transfer before re-enrolling and – spoiler alert – leaving again, all within the span of a few weeks during the summer of 2017. He spent the 2017-18 season working out on his own as well before eventually being picked in the second round by the Knicks. He was, however, a first round talent with red flags that scared a few teams off of giving him a guaranteed contract as a rookie.
*(There were plenty of rumors that Bazley wasn’t going to be eligible at Syracuse – this happens with every player that decides to skip college, and it’s not always true – and while his initial goal was to play in the G League, he quickly realized he would get manhandled as an 18 year old in that league. Hence the asterisk.)
Which brings us back to Beauchamp, who is a back-end top 25 prospect in the class.
An athletic and fairly skilled wing, Beauchamp has the kind of tools (length, versatility, positional size, etc. ) and skillset that makes him an intriguing longterm prospect. He’s a slasher that has shown glimpses of having playmaking ability and is an improving shooter. The problem is that he weighs all of 175 pounds, and that is where this decision becomes interesting.
Beauchamp will be training with Chameleon BX, which is a company that was founded by Frank Matrisciano. If that name sounds familiar, it should. He was profiled by all the major media outlets years ago when he was using unusual methods to workout Blake Griffin. He spent a couple of years as the trainer for the Memphis Tigers. And he does all of this while refusing to be photographed showing his face. He’s an odd dude, but the workouts that he puts his clients through will improve their body.
“Frank Matrisciano’s proven ability to transform athletes, combined with the skills training provided by his accomplished NBA coaching staff is simply a far better option for MarJon than a one-and-done year at college, or any of the other paths we considered before making our decision,” MarJon’s father, JonMarc Beauchamp, said.
As it stands, Beauchamp projects as a second round pick. There is plenty of time for that to change, but don’t expect this to become a trend based off of his success. Most in the basketball world believe that the 2022 NBA Draft will be the first where high school players are allowed to make themselves eligible, which means that the kids that would be following Beauchamp’s lead will be able to head straight to the league.
Mostly, this is just a kid and his family making the decision to skip college, and with a year between now and then, there is still room for change.