The 21-year-old big-man from the University of Michigan, who was projected to be a fourth or fifth round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, ended his collegiate career by announcing that he will not be entering the NBA draft.
Earlier this year, the Michigan Wolverines’ Hunter Dickinson withdrew from the NBA Draft after struggling with a foot injury, but he is now set to return to the NCAA for the 2013-14 season.
Michigan center Hunter Dickinson retires from the NBA draft and returns to school for a second season.
I felt like I didn’t want to be where teams wanted to put me in the draft, Dickinson told ESPN on Tuesday. I’m a better pick than I was in the middle of the second round, and teams have told me they see me as a top-25 player if I come back for another year. I was in no hurry to leave college, I really enjoyed working under coach [Juwan] Howard, and coming back for another year was always an option.
Being able to have a normal year was probably the second most important return factor for me. The reason I chose Michigan was the social aspect of the school. The football games, the campus, the community, Ann Arbor is a wonderful place and I look forward to experiencing it in a normal year.
Tuesday is the deadline for NCAA players to withdraw from the NBA draft and retain their college eligibility.
One last trip… pic.twitter.com/obx1fqbxqE
– Hunter Dickinson (@H_Dickinson24) 6. July 2021
It was an incredibly difficult decision for me. I had to change my mind five times or more to make this decision, he said. This decision will affect the rest of my life, which is why it was so hard and took so long. All the teams said pretty much the same thing. They want me to shoot like I did in practice during my college basketball season. That’s the most important thing right now – showing everyone that I can stretch the floor. I also started to use my right hand more and showed my ability to play the ball to the back.
Dickinson, who is 6-foot-2, was named to the Big Ten’s second team and was voted Rookie of the Year after a brilliant season in which he averaged 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 26 minutes per game and shot 61 percent from the field.
Michigan won the Big Ten regular season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed, but lost to UCLA in the round of 16. Dickinson hopes to match or exceed those accomplishments in the upcoming season.
With coach Howard, Michigan fans should aim for a national championship. I didn’t come back because I want to go to another Elite Eight. I’ve thought about it every day since the UCLA game, and I’d like to go back and rewrite history. I know it will be difficult to repeat last year’s success, but I have faith in the guys we have.
Dickinson said the opportunity for college athletes to capitalize on his name, image and likability played a role in his decision to return to Michigan, which is one of the biggest brands in college sports.
According to him, my decision was influenced by the NIL game. Earning some extra money and not having to worry about your financial situation while you are in school is definitely a benefit. I’m glad the NCAA did the right thing and allows students to make money with THEIR brands.
Despite losing Franz Wagner and second-round prospects Isaiah Livers and Chondy Brown, Michigan is a top-10 team after recruiting the No. 1 player in the country, with three McDonald’s All-Americans in Caleb Houstan, Moussa Diabate and Coby Bafkin, a top-10 prospect in 2022, and Frankie Collins, the No. 36 recruit in the class, according to ESPN.
The Wolverines also added one of the most coveted players on the NCAA transfer portal, Devante Jones of Coastal Carolina, the Sun Belt Player of the Year.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analysis service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.
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