On Tuesday, UCLA standout Johnny Juzang announced he will be entering the 2021 NBA draft but not hiring an agent. He will still maintain his college eligibility and have the option to return to school.
“For many years, I’ve dreamt about playing professional basketball. But the journey to get to this point has truly been the beautiful part, crossing paths with such great people: coaches, mentors, and brothers,” Juzang wrote in his announcement via Twitter.
“I’m proud to announce that I’m declaring for the NBA Draft, while retaining my collegiate eligibility. I want to thank Coach Cronin and UCLA, the basketball program and the Bruin community, for welcoming me with such open arms. … I am going continue to work and give the passion I always have and see where it takes me. I’ll then make an informed decision. Blessings!”
— Johnny Juzang (@JohnnyJuzang) April 20, 2021
The six-foot-six versatile guard, who transferred from Kentucky last year, was named second-team all-conference in the Pac-12 after an impressive 2020-21 season. He averaged 16 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc. Juzang was one of the most notable players in March Madness, averaging 22.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in six NCAA Tournament games. He would score 137 points in this span, which is the second-highest figure in UCLA history after Gail Goodrich in 1965. He led the Bruins national semifinals, however, the team fell just short to the then-undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs.
“We all support Johnny and, for that matter, all of our players in the future who are making these types of decisions,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said in a statement. “I will work closely with Johnny and his family on fact-finding and anything else we can do to support them in this process.
“I ask of our fans to be understanding, as these young men all love UCLA but also deserve the right to explore their professional status. Johnny is a great young man and hopefully we can all stand with him in this process together.”
If Juzang decides to take his talents to the professional league, he’s projected to be a first-round pick, according to CBS Sports. If the rising junior decides to withdraw from the draft and return to college, the Bruins will be looking to have another championship contender roster. At the moment, ESPN has the team ranked No. 2 in the Way-Too-Early Top 25, that is if Juzang returns.
Juzang has until July 7 to withdraw from the draft and preserve his college eligibility.
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