Villanova's Jalen Brunson to enter NBA draft

The Dagger

Jalen Brunson, the 2017-18 consensus NCAA player of the year and a key element of the Wildcats’ two most recent national championship teams, has declared for the upcoming NBA draft. Brunson, a junior, averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds, and his flexibility in both the backcourt and the post provided Villanova with a multi-pronged threat during his time as a Wildcat.

Brunson thanked Villanova in a letter first posted on ESPN.com. The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Nova Nation,

It is with great honor and privilege that I have called Villanova University my home for the past three years. When I decided to commit to Coach Jay Wright and the basketball program, I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university.

After careful consideration and prayer, I have decided to enter the 2018 NBA draft and hire an agent. I want to thank my parents, family members including extended family, and close friends for their continued love and support through this process. I would also like to thank all the coaches that I have had throughout my career for everything they have done for me and my family. Lastly, I want to thank my teammates for welcoming me to a family that I am forever grateful for being able to join.

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat!

Love,

Jalen Brunson

Brunson has won both individual and team honors at every level of basketball, including championships in high school to college to international competition. On the individual front, he’s won the Big East Player of the Year and the Wooden and Naismith National Player of the Year awards.

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Draft projections peg Brunson as a late first-round pick, which gives him the opportunity to join an established team rather than carry a hobbled one right out of the gate.

Villanova’s Jalen Brunson cuts the net as he celebrates after the championship game of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Michigan. Villanova won 79-62. (AP)
Villanova’s Jalen Brunson cuts the net as he celebrates after the championship game of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Michigan. Villanova won 79-62. (AP)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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