By LARRY VAUGHT
PADUCAH — You watch MarJon Beauchamp play and it’s obvious he’s skilled, has great length, sees the court well and can score either slashing to the basket or from the perimeter.
He’s playing for Dream City Christian (Arizona) in the McCracken County Mustang Madness here this weekend as part of the Grind Session. He was also at Marshall County Hoopfest last month.
He says playing in Kentucky is “lovely” for him and teammates.
“There are a lot of good fans out here and they show love. This is probably one of my favorite places to come. The media, the fans, the people who run the Grind Session all show you love,” Beauchamp said.
However, what makes the 6-6 guard unique from other talented players here is that he’s note worried about how his college career will turn out because he’s not going to college. Instead, he’ll start training for the 2021 NBA Draft in June in San Francisco with trainer Frank Matrisciano and also get training from former NBA coaches.
It’s not like he didn’t have college options. Among the scholarship offers he had were Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Marquette, Washington and Washington State.
He has had no second thoughts about his decision since he made his announcement during the summer.
“I am pretty confident about my decision and just ready for June and going in and start getting ready for the draft,” he said.
Several elite players opted not to play in college this year but went overseas to play and get paid. Beauchamp thought about that but decided this path would be better for him and thinks more players may start doing the same thing.
“I have talked to a couple of top players about it and they are thinking about it (this year). I think I am starting a trend and more people will be coming into it,” Beauchamp, who plays again tonight at 5:30 CST against Word of God and Michigan signee Isaiah Todd, said.
“I will spend a year working and training. There are still questions by some and a lot of hate as well as a lot of love about what I am going to do. I don’t get into that,” he said. “I just focus on what I have to do. I am blocking everything and everyone out in June and just focusing to try and get to the draft.
“I need to get stronger. I have a high basketball IQ and feel I can help players get open and make them better. I think I play good defense and bring energy when I play. I just want to have fun this year, win the Grind Session national championship and then in June start getting ready for the next level and I think having a whole year to concentrate on nothing but that will really help me.”