Professional teams have reached out to Newman

TIGARD, Ore. -- Malik Newman, one of the top prospects in high school basketball, is not only being pursued by the top college basketball teams, but has also heard from professionals teams in China and Europe.

Rather than going to college this past season, Emmanuel Mudiay carved out his own path, by heading to China to the play in the CBA.

Although Mudiay wasn’t the first to go the professional route instead of college, he certainly has had the high school basketball community talking about whether it becomes more of an option for elite basketball talents.

It was even at topic at the Nike Hoop Summit among NBA personnel. One front office representative told Scout that that the “money in China is real.”

So it got me thinking about which prospects in high school hoops would have been approached in the 2015 class. Malik Newman, who is close friends with Mudiay and a highly regarded five-star recruit, was among the first to come to mind.

It turns out the 6-foot-3 scoring sensation has been approached by representatives from professional leagues in China and Spain, according to his father -- Horatio Webster.

“We have,” he said when asked if he and his son have heard from professional teams overseas. “One time he asked me about what it would be like overseas and then another time, he says ‘No dad I’m not going to do that.’ Of course I’m not going to make him do it.”

Webster said the pitch is simple: Play for pay.

“Their pitch is you can play basketball with professionals and get paid instead of going to college for nothing or whatever the case may be,” Webster explained to Scout. “You’d have that experience of playing against grown men and it’s a good league. The money is on time. It is real, but I don’t think that’s an option for Malik.”

“If it was me, I’d probably do it, but he doesn’t want to do it,” Webster added. “So you can’t ask me that. If it was me, I’d probably already been gone.”

Mudiay reportedly signed for more than $1 million with Guangdong Southern Tigers, plus signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour. Webster told Scout that a similar figure has been tossed around to his son.

“We are talking around $1 million,” Webster said. “They’ll sell you on getting a shoe contract so you’d probably leave there with $1.5 or $2 million.”

Could Newman, who is considering Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State and North Carolina State for college, get that type of money if he wanted to go that route?

“Yeah, easy,” Webster said.

While it doesn’t appear to be a route Newman wants to go, the option of playing professional rather than going to college is certainly an option and it sounds like Mudiay won’t be the last elite prospect to make that type of move in the near future.

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