Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. Declares For NBA Draft, Will Sign With Agent
First it was Bridges, then it was Ward (maybe), and now a third Michigan State underclassman has declared for the 2018 NBA Draft.
Jaren Jackson Jr. made his decision known to Spartan Nation today in a press release that he would be declaring for the NBA Draft and plans on signing with an agent.
Here's his letter:
Michigan State is an amazing place. And this has been an amazing year —from the time I hit the campus in June for summer workouts and summer school until now. I never imagined it would be like this. Never. Playing for Coach Izzo and the rest of the staff has been incredible. They’ve helped me develop so much, both on and off the court. After only one year, I know my memories are few but they will never be forgotten: football games, late night study group and early morning study hall at the Smith Center, the Breslin and the mighty Izzone, the PK80 title, the outright Big Ten Championship, and being recognized as Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the B1G. Please know that nothing was lost on me. Still, nothing is bigger than the bond I have with my teammates. These guys are my family. They will always be my brothers.
Spartans, this was not an automatic decision. And honestly, thank you for making it one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to think about. While playing in the NBA was always my dream and desire, I did not know the opportunity would present itself in quite this way. I’m ready to live my dreams and I cannot pass it up. Therefore, the time has come to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft.
Even though I will no longer play for MSU, I will ALWAYS be a Spartan! I will finish my studies and I will kiss the Spartan helmet on the Breslin court.
Jackson Jr. was the Big Ten's freshman on the year, and defensive player of the year last season. He is only the second player to pull off that combo of awards in the same season, the first was Greg Oden in 2007. He was also the Big Ten's freshman of the week four times last season, and was named third team all-Big Ten.
Jackson was part of a stellar Michigan State starting group that all averaged double digit points. Jackson's freshman line was 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3 blocks a game. His season total of 106 blocks set a school record and against Rutgers in December he blocked eight shots in one game, which tied a Michigan State record.
“Jaren’s a great young man who was an absolute joy to coach. He loved being a part of this team and Michigan State University. Everyone knows what he achieved on the court with his blocked shots record and earning Big Ten Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year honors, but they should also know that his success in the classroom was just as great. Furthermore, the way he handles himself with class off the court will serve him well as a professional. He has a great support system in place with his terrific parents, and I look forward to him having a long productive NBA career.” Tom Izzo said in a statement.