Former Chalmette Owls star Mitchell Robinson decided to bypass college and set his eyes on the 2018 NBA Draft. The former five-star recruit will no longer play college basketball for Western Kentucky this season and will focus his attention on training to enter the NBA.

“I’ve decided to leave Western Kentucky and just focus on next year’s NBA Draft,” Robinson told Scout.com. The 19-year old high school star will move to Dallas, TX and prepare for the 2018 NBA Draft. He is reportedly going to work out with a professional basketball trainer.

Leaving college

According to reports, Robinson officially decided to skip college hoops to pursue his dream of playing professional basketball in the NBA.

The 7-foot center product of Chalmette Owls was initially set to play for Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Later, reports surfaced that he left the school two weeks before a team trip to Costa Rica.

Robinson was initially suspended indefinitely. But after talking to Hilltoppers head coach Rick Stansbury, he was granted a release to transfer. Robinson visited Louisiana State University, University of Kansas, and the University of New Orleans in the hopes of being granted a waiver.

Yet after a month since the incident happened, Robinson returned to Western Kentucky saying that he belongs with the Hilltoppers. However, Robinson had another change of heart, and on Sept. 18, he decided to forgo college hoops.

As a decorated high school basketball player, Robinson was ranked as the No. 9 overall recruit in the 2017 recruiting class.

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He played in the McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand All-American games and participated in the USA Basketball U19 trials last June. Standing at 7’0” without shoes, the 223-pound center has a 7’4” wingspan and a standing reach of 9’3” (taken during the USA U19 tryouts).

Preparing for the 2018 NBA Draft

“The lifetime goal of mine is to play in the NBA, and I feel like forgoing my year of college and going straight to work on a day to day basis will help prepare me, so I can focus just on basketball and maturing,” Robinson said about his decision to forgo college hoops. Robinson is set to attend training in Dallas according to his mother.

During his junior year at Chalmette Owls, Robinson averaged 19.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 7.9 blocks per game. On his senior year, he averaged 25.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 6.0 blocks per game. According to scouting reports, Robinson is an athletic center, quick off his feet and has a great timing especially on defense. However, he needs to polish his post-up game.

A big gamble

According to CBS Sports, Mitchell Robinson is probably second to Mohamed Bamba when it comes to protecting the rim. Bamba is another NBA prospect for the next year's NBA Draft. This is why forgoing college basketball became the biggest question for Robinson.

Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report believes that deciding just to train and not play for any major college program is a risky strategy. It could be understandable if he decides to play in professional leagues overseas like OKC Thunder rookie Terrance Ferguson, Brandon Jennings, and Emmanuel Mudiay did before applying for the NBA Draft.

College basketball and international leagues will certainly improve his game, and prepare him for the next level. Plus, it gives NBA scouts and executives a front-row seat in determining whether Robinson will suit their team, or not. By forgoing college hoops, Mitchell Robinson has taken the biggest gamble yet in his young basketball career.