Top NBA draft prospect and former Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba said the opportunity to go straight from high school to the NBA would have been too good of a chance to pass up — had the means been in place — and that it would have “taken my game to the next level.”
Bamba, who last month declared for June’s draft and is a projected lottery pick, said Wednesday in an interview on ESPN’s The Jump that his one year in college has no doubt been invaluable.
“It would have taken my game to the next level,” Bamba said of a jump to the NBA out of high school. “Because now, what’s so night and day between being a college student-athlete, is that you got to split up times for different things — all right, now I have to actually study and write this essay; I have to crank it out because it’s due tomorrow at 10 a.m.
“But now, I’m literally, the only thing I’m studying is myself. I’m really, like, fully invested in my body, and I’m really liking this professional thing.”
When asked what it would mean to be drafted by his hometown New York Knicks, the Harlem native indicated he hasn’t tempered his expectations.
Wearing an Embiid jersey, the Philadelphia-born rapper rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell before tipoff of Game 5. He received a thunderous ovation from the Wells Fargo Center crowd upon introduction and was seated courtside, next to 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and comedian Kevin Hart.
Before and after the Sixers’ win, Mill met with players and team personnel in the team’s locker room.
“It was like this mass happiness, hysteria,” Rubin said after Philadelphia’s victory. “The city’s so excited to have him. The team’s so excited.”
Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, had been fighting for his release while appealing a two- to four-year sentence for a probation violation.
His controversial incarceration has drawn response from the sports community.
Rubin has been one of Mill’s biggest supporters. He tweeted Tuesday that he was on his way to pick up the rapper from prison, and hours later posted a photo on Instagram of the two heading to Game 5.