Kenyon Martin Jr. announces decision to declare for 2020 NBA Draft

Kenyon Martin Jr. is hugged by his father, former NBA player Kenyon Martin, after a high school game in 2018. Martin Jr. has reportedly declared for the 2020 NBA Draft. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Power forward Kenyon Martin Jr. has announced his decision to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.

Martin Jr., whose father Kenyon Martin Sr. was the first pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, had originally committed to Vanderbilt this season, but instead decided to prepare for the draft at the IMG Academy in Florida.

His announcement came via Instagram late Tuesday.

“There was a lot of hate and doubt about my journey but I feel I’ve done what was best for me and now is the time to take the next step which is to Declare for the 2020 NBA Draft,” he wrote in his post. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine and I will continue to work day by day to prove to myself and everyone that this is where I belong.”

In a July 2019 interview with The Undefeated, Martin Jr. said he was inspired to skip the college route by fellow NBA Draft prospects R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball, who opted to play pro basketball in Australia over going to the NCAA.

“I’ve always played basketball, and that’s all I’ve wanted to do,” Martin Jr. said in the interview. “I’ve seen a bunch of guys play in the NBA up close. It’s fun. Your job is to play basketball. Your job is to perform, and you can’t ask for anything more.

“Me performing in front of people and exciting people, that’s what I like to do. A year from now if I get drafted, it will be a dream come true.”

Martin Jr. is currently the 53rd-ranked prospect on ESPN’s NBA Draft projection list. The NBA Draft is currently scheduled for June 25 in Brooklyn.

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