Fanbo Zeng, a Chinese prospect who recently signed with G League team Ignite, is one of the most promising prospects in China. He has been compared to LeBron James and has dreams of making it into the NBA.
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Fanbo Zeng, the ESPN class of 2022’s No. 33 prospect, said on Wednesday that he has signed with the NBA’s G League Ignite program and will declare for the 2022 NBA draft.
“This is the finest and quickest method to become a pro and improve every day,” Zeng said to ESPN. “While I was in China, this was the greatest choice I could make. I’m not saying the NCAA isn’t excellent; I’m simply saying the G League is the greatest option for me right now.”
Zeng spent three years playing high school basketball in Oregon and Florida before returning to China at the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. He chose Gonzaga over scholarship offers from Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech, and others before deciding to go pro. He claims that in the last 18 months, he has grown 2 inches in height and weight, and now stands 6-foot-11 and weighs 198 pounds.
Zeng has already finished his schoolwork to graduate high school, while being classed as a high school senior in the United States, according to his agent Jiacheng Roman Liu, making him eligible to join the 2022 draft, which he intends to do.
Last week, Zeng arrived to the G League Ignite practice facility in Walnut Creek, California, and is expected to be cleared for live action shortly.
Zeng is one of the most exciting talents to emerge from China in a long time, with his high-flying finishing ability and 3-point shooting attracting a lot of attention. As a sophomore at Windermere Prep high school north of Orlando, Florida, he averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 2.1 assists per game, shooting 47 percent from 3-point range and establishing himself as a possible five-star recruit.
Zeng, who moved to Oregon when he was 14 years old, believes that having spent so much of his high school experience in the United States will help him adapt to Ignite.
“Learning how to play with and against other athletic guys changed everything for me,” he added. “I used to defend everyone in high school: guards, forwards, and even big guys. Because I shoot open shots, locate teammates, and make excellent choices with the ball, I can fit into any team. I’ve gained 2 inches in height, which has helped me enhance my defense and rebounding.”
NBA scouts will be permitted to see G League Ignite sessions beginning Thursday, according to a club official. Jaden Hardy (No. 3), Dyson Daniels (No. 15), Michael Foster (No. 31), and MarJon Beauchamp are all presently listed in the ESPN 100. (No. 53). Zeng isn’t among them, since he wasn’t previously considered a contender for this year’s draft class.
Scoot Henderson, probably the best American prospect in the 2023 NBA draft class, is also a part of Ignite’s fold for the next two years. The club has set a 25-game schedule that includes exhibition games against G League teams as well as participation in the Showcase Cup.
Last year, even without a local player, the G League Ignite was widely watched in China, according to Zeng, a characteristic that will undoubtedly increase the amount of attention the NBA’s relatively young program gets in one of the world’s largest media markets.
“Ignite drew the attention of everyone in China last year,” Zeng added. “They are enthralled. All of the G League games and replays were available to us. Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga were both assisted by Ignite to become professionals.”
In the previous 15 years, just two Chinese players have been selected, with Zhou Qi being the most recent to do so in 2018. According to NBA executives, increasing the league’s exposure in China is a top goal going ahead.
Jonathan Givony is the creator and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics firm used by NBA, NCAA, and international clubs.
Fanbo Zeng is a Chinese prospect who has signed with the G League team, Ignite. Zeng was ranked as the top prospect in China and hopes to be drafted into the NBA in 2022. Reference: fanbo zeng stats.
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