Thon Makers and Jeter amongst three top basketball recruits facing difficult choice

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Three top-flight high schoolers are facing the question met by many of their peers.

What exactly do they do next?

Who could blame them for being a little uncertain about that choice. 

They live in a world where a former player's lawsuit could overthrow a decades-long college basketball payment structure which monetized players without paying them.

They live in a time where one of their peers, an 18-year-old originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, just signed a 1.2 million contract to forego college and play in overseas.

Here are three top college recruits and how the decisions they will help decide the fate of college basketball in the next few years.

The traditionalist

Of the recruits facing difficult choices regarding their post-high school plans, Class of 2015 power forward Chase Jeter seems to have chosen the least surprising route.

The top-10 prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, will probably play in the United States. He will choose among four well-regarded programs known for producing NBA-caliber athletes: UCLA, Duke, UNLV and Arizona, according to CBS Sports.

UNLV has the hometown draw: Jeter's father played there. UCLA is nearby also and has a tradition that's enticing for any prospect. Duke is a favorite, simply because the Blue Devils are a favorite for anyone serious about playing college ball.

Meanwhile, Arizona is also in the mix.

What makes Jeter's decision a little bit different is that he will make it in private, then wait a few weeks before announcing it to the world, potentially at Adidas Nations tournament in early August.

If players like Jeter continue to approach their recruitment conventionally, the NCAA will have no concerns about losing its talent in the future.

The exception

Thon Maker, an elite 7-foot prospect, faces one of the rarest situations in college basketball.

The skilled forward could do nothing and be one of the hottest recruits in the Class of 2016. 

Or, if Maker can make the cut academically, he could choose to re-classify and join the Class of 2015, turning him into a top player for this year's rising senior crop.

The decision will cast waves on the plans for the countless top-level programs which are recruiting him day and night. It could also change the way athletes view their high school careers.

High school football players often graduate a semester early in order to get onto campus during the spring semester and get a head-start in prepping for the fall football season. 

Maker was born on February 25, 1997, according to, which makes him a year older than most of his incoming junior class. If he could reclassify, he may set a precedent for college basketball players trying to jump into the college limelight a little sooner by graduating early.

For his part, the South Sudan-native and former Australian resident has said that he's not sure the grades will line up. Also, he is worried that his 210-pound frame might not be ready for the extra pounding of college ball.

But if the stars do align for an early graduation, Maker might provide a path for other recruits to follow.

The next Emmanuel Mudiay

Skal Labissiere is the target of an increasingly complex recruiting from multiple colleges, as chronicled by CBS Sports' Gary Parrish.

But that sound and fury could all be moot, because Labissiere is apparently considering playing overseas after he finishes his senior season this fall.

The 6-foot-11 prospect is being targeted by Georgiatown, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina and Ole Miss, among other colleges. However, he told Parrish that he was considering playing outside of the United States after seeing what happened with Mudiay in the last month.

"Overseas is an option," Labissiere told at the Las Vegas Classic. "I don't know yet for sure. We'll see. But that is a lot of money."

Labissiere moved to the United States after the Haiti earthquake in 2012, so playing abroad wouldn't be a huge cultural shift.

If anyone might follow ithe path set by Mudiay and, before that, current Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, it could be the pick-and-pop forward from Haiti.

And if he also scores a big contract, while being listed as the 19th-best rising senior in 247Sports' rankings, then that might just start an exodus of high school players searching for greener pastures across the Atlantic Ocean.

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