UM’s Norchad Omier enters NBA Draft, aims to make history as first Nicaraguan in league

Norchad Omier, the Miami Hurricanes’ energetic power forward and a fan favorite, announced Tuesday morning that he is entering his name in the NBA Draft. He hired an agent and plans to forego his remaining college eligibility.

If Omier is drafted, he would be the first Nicaraguan player to reach the NBA. He was the first native Nicaraguan to play Division I college basketball.

Omier was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season with 17 points and 10 rebounds per game and was a second-team All-ACC selection. At 6-7 and 240 pounds, he ranked second in the ACC in rebounds per game behind North Carolina’s 6-11 Armando Bacot and second in Player Efficiency Rating at 26.8 behind Virginia Tech’s Lynn Kidd (27.6), who just transferred to Miami.

Omier also won the prestigious 2023-24 Skip Prosser Award, presented annually to the top scholar-athlete in ACC men’s basketball. Omier is working toward a degree in sports administration and over his last two semesters was named to the Fall Provost’s List (3.75+ GPA) and the Spring Dean’s List (3.5+ GPA).

He was a key member of Miami’s Final Four team in 2023, tested the NBA waters after that season, but maintained his college eligibility and decided to return to UM for the 2023-24 season. This time, it is a firm farewell.

“These last two years at UM have been a blessing and I have cherished every moment wearing proudly my orange and green No. 15 uniform,” Omier posted on Instagram. “To my teammates, I’m thankful to have bonds that goes beyond the court. I’m a Hurricane forever and will forever be grateful to Coach L and his entire staff for all the lessons, the support, the encouragement and for making me feel appreciated in this beautiful city.

“I am ready to continue this journey, and after long consideration and prayer, I have decided to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft.”

Omier’s agent, Adam Godes of ADS Sports Management, is certified with the NCAA, so if Omier were to have a change of heart before the May 29 deadline, he could return to college, but Godes and other sources told the Miami Herald the expectation is he is done with the college game.

“Norchad is a unique prospect, has a lot of belief in himself, a lot of aspirations, and I believe he can play in the NBA,” Godes said. “Some people may say he is undersized for his position, but he is arguably the best rebounder in the country, built like a grown man, and whenever there have been doubters, he has proven them wrong. Nobody will work harder. And nobody has a bigger heart. I think the sky’s the limit for him.”

Art “Pilin” Alvaraz, who coached Omier at Miami Prep and remains a mentor, told the Miami Herald: “He really feels he’s ready. Been hearing a lot of positive stuff from the NBA. Norchad is chasing his childhood dream. He became the first player ever from Nicaragua to play D-1 and now he wants to become the first ever in the NBA.”

He is the second UM player to declare for the draft, following freshman guard Kyshawn George.

In addition to Omier and George entering their names in the draft, the Hurricanes lost five players to the transfer portal: Bensley Joseph, who signed with Providence, AJ Casey, Michael Nwoko, Jakai Robinson and Christian Watson. Matt Cleveland and Wooga Poplar were considering entering their names in the NBA Draft, according to sources, but have not yet announced their plans.

Guard Nijel Pack announced his is returning for his final year of eligibility.

Miami has already begun restocking, signing 6-10 center Lynn Kidd from Virginia Tech and 6-8 forward Brandon Johnson from East Carolina. Kidd had the top Player Efficiency Rating in the ACC last season and had the best field goal percentage of 66.8 percent.