BLOOMINGTON – It's official – James Blackmon will sign with an agent, stay in the NBA draft and pass on his final season at Indiana.
Blackmon, a former Bishop Luers standout, tweeted the news on Monday afternoon.
“After much reflection and discussion with my family, I have decided to remain in the 2017 NBA Draft and sign with an agent,” Blackmon wrote. “After graduating Indiana in three years, I am thrilled to take the next step in my basketball career and pursue a lifelong dream.
“The past three years have been an amazing ride. Through blood, sweat and tears, putting on that Indiana jersey every game and playing in front of diehard Indiana fans was an honor and privilege. The past three years have brought memories and relationships I will never forget. Bloomington will always have a special place in my heart.”
According to an IU spokesman, Blackmon hasn't officially graduated, although he did receive permission to go through Saturday's graduation ceremony because he is set to graduate in August.
This past season Blackmon set career highs in scoring (17.0 points) and three-point baskets (91, second in school history to Steve Alford's 107).
The 6-4 Blackmon does not project to be drafted. However, he could sign as a free agent, as former teammates Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams did last year. They went on to sign with NBA teams – Ferrell with Dallas, Williams with Houston. If not, he could play in the D-League.
Blackmon also could play overseas.
Blackmon is the third Hoosier to elect to stay in the NBA draft and not return to school. The others are OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant. Anunoby and Bryant were invited to this week's NBA Combine in Chicago.
Blackmon was not.
“I would like to thank my family for being there through all of the ups and downs,” Blackmon tweeted. “I would like to thank my teammates, who have become brothers to me, for pushing me every day. I would like to thank the fans and everyone who has supported me throughout my career at Indiana University. I would like to thank God for allowing me to play a game I love.”
The leaves IU with its full allotment of 13 scholarships. Guard Robert Johnson also has entered the NBA Draft and has until May 24 to decide whether to give up his final season or return to the Hoosiers.
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