NASSAU, Bahamas -- Jalen Lecque, a five-star recruit in the 2019 high school class who committed to NC State last month, will consider entering his name in the upcoming NBA draft, he told ESPN this weekend.
Lecque is currently doing a fifth year of high school at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. The 6-foot-4 point guard reclassified from his original class following his junior year.
He fulfilled all NCAA academic requirements to graduate high school last spring and could have enrolled in college already as a full qualifier.
"I could be a freshman on a college campus right now," Lecque told ESPN. "I am eligible for the  draft. I'm a fifth-year senior, but I'm also eligible for the draft because of my grades."
Because Lecque technically did not receive a high school diploma from the Christ School, where he was enrolled in North Carolina last year, he will likely need to petition the NBA by submitting paperwork to the league office declaring himself eligible for the draft by the NBA early entry deadline on April 21. Since he is a year removed from his original high school graduating class and turns 19 in the calendar year of the draft, as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement, he appears to have a strong case for inclusion, according to league sources, and it is unlikely the NBA will fight him.
Lecque told ESPN that he will wait until the end of his basketball season with Brewster in March to decide what his next step will be.
"I am interested in everything because the NBA is my goal at the end of the day," he said. "I want to be a great college player, but my end goal is to help my family. I want to be a concrete Round 1 player if I do make that decision. If I'm guaranteed a Round 1 position, then you never know. I could see myself doing it if I am in a good position at the end of the year. A college education is so important and making that jump is really hard, so I really gotta think about that, but if I'm Round 1, then that's different."
Representatives of seven NBA teams were expected in Nassau, according to tournament organizers, to evaluate Lecque and other players from the 13 teams competing at the Caribbean Tip-Off Classic, which features teams from the United States, Canada, Finland and the Bahamas.
"I am interested in everything because the NBA is my goal at the end of the day. I want to be a great college player, but my end goal is to help my family. I want to be a concrete Round 1 player if I do make that decision. If I'm guaranteed a Round 1 position, then you never know." Jalen Lecque, on possibly entering the NBA draft out of high school
Lecque scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting with 6 rebounds and 5 assists in 27 minutes at the Tip-Off Classic, exhilarating the crowd with a slew of highlight-reel plays. Lecque, who measured 6-foot-3½ and 189 pounds with a 6-8 wingspan over the summer at the USA Basketball U18 training camp, is arguably considered the best athlete in high school basketball. His physical dimensions are most similar to the likes of Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and Kris Dunn at the same age, according to a historical measurement database maintained by ESPN. While his perimeter shooting and decision-making skills are a work in progress, a team could decide to bet on Lecque's significant upside and spend a pick in the latter stages of the first round in hopes they can develop him.
He will have opportunities to build his draft stock at Brewster Academy, which plays in the NEPSAC, considered the strongest prep school league in the country, as well as on the high school all-star game and practice circuit.
"I'm looking forward to playing against the best competition, wherever all the scouts are at," Lecque told ESPN. "I am ready for the competition. Jordan Brand, Ball is Life, I will be there. I think I should be eligible for the McDonald's game, but that's their choice."
Lecque's decision is still months away, and he won't rush anything.
"We're taking it real slow," he said. "At the end of the year, I will have an answer for it. But I love NC State and NC State is a great place and I am looking forward to it."