The NBA G League Ignite program made waves last year when, in its debut season as the high-profile development team for the G League focused on cultivating top young prospects, it swooped in to sign five-stars Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix and Isaiah Todd. Now a year older and on the precipice of producing two top-five picks, the program is getting a reset with another star talent in tow as prized recruit Michael Foster signed with Ignite on Friday over Florida State and Georgia, becoming the first player to sign with Ignite in its second season.
Foster is ranked as the No. 14 overall player in the 247Sports Composite for the 2021 cycle and the No. 5 player at his position. A 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward, he elicited offers from Kansas, LSU, Oklahoma State, USC, UCLA and others throughout his recruitment process. But he had long been considered in basketball circles as a preps-to-pros prospect. His big, powerful frame likely gives him an inside track to using Ignite as a launching pad to the NBA.
Foster began his high school career at Washington High School of Information Technology where he burst onto the scene, but he exploded in his last two seasons at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix. As a junior he averaged 26.3 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.1 blocks, and he upped those as a senior, averaging 32.2 points and 18.4 rebounds per game while earning McDonald’s All-American honors.
The G League Ignite team was not going anywhere after its inaugural season proved plenty successful, showcasing Green and Kuminga as likely top-five draft picks as well as Nix and Todd as likely draft selections. But getting Foster helps lay the foundation for another strong class in its second year and with a huge chunk of the first class NBA-bound with a bullet, it’s a nice sign for the G League that it has built something sustainable and attractive to help lure away top prospects.