Texas’ Jaxson Hayes Is Going Pro

For the third straight year, and the fourth time in five years, it appears Texas men’s basketball will have a freshman picked in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Following in the footsteps of Myles Turner (2015), Jarrett Allen (2017), and Mo Bamba (2018), freshman forward Jaxson Hayes will turn pro and hire an agent, negating the final three years of his eligibility.

“I have always dreamed about playing in the NBA,” Hayes said, in a statement from UT. “Now that I have the chance to realize that dream, I would like to pursue that opportunity. I am declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft and will be hiring an agent.”

ESPN lists Hayes at No. 9 on its “best available” list for the 2019 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 20 at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.

Hayes came to UT as ESPN’s No. 89 prospect in America out of Loveland, Ohio. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year broke the single-season UT record for field-goal percentage (72.8 percent) and his 2.22 blocks per game was good for third in the conference.

On March 14, Hayes went down with a knee injury during the Big 12 quarterfinals. He missed the entire NIT Tournament, where Texas head coach Shaka Smart’s squad redeemed a mediocre season by bringing home the title.

“I’m really proud of Jaxson for the tremendous attitude he’s demonstrated all year and the unprecedented growth that he’s made,” Smart said. “He’ll always be a part of our Longhorn Basketball family, and we look forward to supporting him in the next steps of his journey.”

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.


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