Five-star 2020 prospect to skip college for 12-month NBA prep program

A five-star prospect in the 2020 basketball recruiting class plans to skip his freshman season of college eligibility to prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft in a new 12-month training program, a press release from the program said Thursday.

MarJon Beauchamp — instead of going the one-and-done route in college or, as some top prospects have done, opting to play internationally the season after he graduates to reach the NBA’s current 19-year-old age requirement — will take the unusual step of skipping competitive basketball in order to train with Chameleon BX.

Rated the No. 4 small forward in his class and the No. 24 prospect overall, according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, Beauchamp is a 6-6, 175-pound rising senior at Dream City Christian in Glendale, Arizona who played last season at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle.

“I’m genuinely humbled by all the interest and offers I received by some great schools,” Beauchamp said in the press release, alluding to reported scholarship offers from, among others, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and USC, as well as Alabama. “Although they were tough to turn down, I believe the Chameleon BX program provides the kind of personalized attention I need to get my body and game properly prepared for pursuing my dream of a career in the NBA.”

Chameleon BX is a 12-month training program founded this year by trainer Frank Matrisciano, who is best known for his work with Blake Griffin and as a college basketball trainer who is Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner’s brother-in-law.

According to the release, Matrisciano’s rationale behind Chameleon BX is to fill what he perceives as a void in how top high school players prepare for the NBA after graduation. College, the NBA G League or international play don’t offer elite players a well-rounded preparation for the NBA, he claims.

“They aren’t the right environments for 18-year old kids,” Matrisciano said.

Still, LaMelo Ball reportedly plans to play in Australia’s National Basketball League; Kenyon Martin Jr. does too.

In contrast, Chameleon BX promises “a one-of-a-kind 12-month personalized training program designed specifically for helping elite high school basketball players prepare physically and mentally for the NBA draft with unrivaled fitness training and skills training by NBA coaches who’ve lived the NBA life.”

Continued education, nutritional guidance and marketing and sponsorship support also are provided, according to the press release.

Chameleon BX’s staff includes Bob Hill, Dave Joerger, Kim Hughes and Eddie Johnson, among others who also have extensive NBA and college coaching experience.

The training program’s current model likely will either have to evolve or could be rendered moot.

The NBA reportedly has submitted to the National Basketball Players Association a formal proposal that would lower the draft-eligible age to 18 from 19.