Local College Athletes preparing for the NBA Draft
Just as many academically-focused students use college as a stepping-stone to a life-long career, athletically-focused students do the same. Many college athletes are given the option of jump-starting their career by declaring themselves as drafts for the professional athletic leagues. The most recent hype in the athletic community has surrounded the National Basketball Association (NBA) early entry draft announcements where many local North Carolina basketball players are declaring their interest in a professional athletic career. The North Carolina basketball players who originally declared themselves for the NBA are listed below:
- Joel Berry II of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Junior)
- Tony Bradley of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Freshman)
- John Collins of Wake Forest University (Sophomore)
- Harry Giles of Duke University (Freshman)
- Frank Jackson of Duke University (Freshman)
- Justin Jackson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Junior)
- Ted Kapita of North Carolina State University (Freshman)
- Luke Kennard of Duke University (Sophomore)
- Theo Pinson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Junior)
- Maverick Rowan of North Carolina State University (Sophomore)
- Dennis Smith Jr. of North Carolina State University (Freshman)
- Jayson Tatum of Duke University (Freshman)
- Omer Yurtseven of North Carolina State University (Freshman)
But declaring yourself for the NBA draft does not necessarily mean you are guaranteed to be accepted. The NBA draft is done using a lottery process where there are only two rounds with thirty draft picks per each round.
Now after the University of North Carolina (UNC) Men’s Basketball team have made it to the National Championship for the second year in a row and have a newfound pride in their catchy title: “University of National Champions,” they find themselves in a dilemma where they could all of their lose their top players.
Justin Jackson, a current UNC Junior, declared himself for the NBA draft last year, was declined, and was advised to improve his three-point shooting range. Jackson made immense changes to his game for the 2016-17 conference season by setting a new school record of ninety-six 3-pointers in one season. Jackson has declared himself for the NBA again this year, but this time with an agent, making it known that he is even more serious about taking his athletic career to the next level.
It came as a pleasant surprise when the National Championship’s Most Valuable Player Junior Joel Berry II of UNC withdrew himself from the 2017 NBA draft process, announcing that he would return to Chapel Hill for his senior year. In a statement released by UNC, Berry says, “I know I can continue to improve my game and be better prepared for the NBA after another year playing against the best college competition in the country. There’s no reason to rush leaving school. I love being a Tar Heel and love playing for Carolina and Coach (Roy) Williams.”
Once the draft picks are finalized for this year, we can expect all of our local college teams to ramp up their search for the remaining uncommitted college athlete recruits.