Australian basketball prodigy Dante Exum is headed to the NBA draft and has hired the same agent as superstar Kobe Bryant.
The 18-year-old point guard has decided to bypass the US college system and head straight to the professional bigtime in the NBA, signing with Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports Agency following visits to a number of elite American colleges and meetings with several different agents.
Pelinka’s stable of basketball clients include NBA stars Bryant, James Harden and Andre Iguodala.
“We are thrilled and honoured to be working with Dante and his family,” Pelinka said in an statement.
“As the NBA continues to expand its brand around the world, we feel like Dante’s international story comes at a perfect time.
“We also believe that, with continued hard work and focus, Dante is destined to be a ‘franchise’ point guard in this next generation of great NBA players.”
Exum is projected to be a top five pick at the next NBA draft.
He had contemplated a year playing with a US college, but risked injury and his top tier draft status.
As well as earning $US5 million ($A5.71 million) in his rookie NBA season, it will be up to his agents to secure multi-million endorsement deals.
Exum recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Sport and is a member of the Australian men’s squad.
His US-born father Cecil Exum moved to Australia to play in the NBL and loved it so much settled and raised a family.
The Exum’s family said they were excited to be working with the agency.
“Our family felt the Landmark team represented our style and manner of treating people, and in doing businesses,” they said in a statement.
“We also all shared a common commitment to achieving excellence in all things. The fit is just great and we are really pleased to now begin the work.”