Michael Foster Jr. is officially a pro.
The former Milwaukee Washington boys basketball standout who attended HIllcrest Prep in Phoenix for his final two years of high school announced Friday he will play in the G League next year. He chose that route to the NBA over signing with Florida State or Georgia, his final two college choices, or signing with a professional team overseas.
Foster made his announcement during a live chat with Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated. Before announcing his choice, Foster explained what he considered when making his decision.
For him, it was all about development.
“I wasn’t looking at anything else,” he said. “The school campus really doesn’t matter to me. It’s just how the development is and how they treat the players and how they react to what I want to do and what I need to work on, what I need to do to get better.”
A 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward, Foster — who adamantly insists he is bigger than the 6-9, 220 pounds he has been listed on recruiting websites — averaged 32 points and 16 rebounds, four steals and four blocks for Hillcrest.
He has racked up the accolades, including McDonald’s All-American and first-team all-American by SI.com. He is the seventh-ranked prospect in the 2021 class according to ESPN.
He said the development of Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Isaiah Todd, who joined the G League out of high school last year, was a selling point. Green and Kuminga are considered top-five prospects in the draft this year.
“I saw how they developed and you see Kuminga. I relate my game to him out of anyone who went to the G League (out of high school),” Foster said. “I see how they gave him the ball at the top of the key and let him work. … They did a great job with him, giving him the opportunity to lay out his pro route and what he wants to do in the league and not just pin him in a box. They let him step outside the box and have fun with his game.”