LAWRENCE — The future of Kansas basketball’s top recruiting target will instead unfold halfway across the world.

R.J. Hampton, a five-star guard and the No. 5-ranked player in the Class of 2019 according to recruiting outlet 247Sports, has signed with the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League, he announced Tuesday morning on a broadcast of ESPN’s “Get Up!” Hampton had announced KU, Memphis and Texas Tech as his three finalists but instead decided to forgo the college route to become a professional immediately.

“I just think my dream has never been to play college basketball. My dream has always been to get to the next level and play in the NBA,” Hampton said. “So I think this is the best route for me to live like a pro and play with grown men every day and not have to juggle books and basketball and just focus on my main goal.”

A 6-foot-5, 185-pound combo guard out of Little Elm, Texas, Hampton reclassified up into the Class of 2019 this spring, then eliminated early frontrunner Duke from his list of finalists.

“I just wanted to kind of set the trend. I never wanted to be normal, so I kind of wanted to set the trend for younger guys coming up to show them, hey, that’s not the only route you can take, is college basketball,” Hampton said. “I feel like this is a much better route for me — not for everybody, but I think it’s a better route for me.”

KU currently has three commitments in the Class of 2019, all outside 247Sports’ top 50 — Tristan Enaruna (6-9, 205-pound forward ranked No. 61), Christian Braun (6-5, 175-pound forward ranked No. 123) and Issac McBride (6-1, 170-pound guard ranked No. 131). Jayhawk guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes are testing the NBA Draft waters but could return to the collegiate level.