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BYU Forward Gideon George Declares for NBA Draft, Maintains College Eligibility

NCAA Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-San Francisco vs BYU Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

BYU forward Gideon George announced Friday that he is declaring for the NBA Draft while “maintaining (his) college eligibility” during the process.

The Nigeria native played the last two seasons for BYU after transferring from the JUCO ranks. Gideon was BYU’s fourth leading scorer this year, averaging 8.8 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 44% from the field and 35% from three. His three point shooting turned around the second half of the season, and peaked in a career high 27-point performance on 5-9 three-point shooting versus Northern Iowa in the NIT second round.

Gideon’s numbers don’t necessarily pop off, but his 6-foot-6 frame and 7-foot wingspan will be enticing to professional scouts. One source close to Gideon told me that me that he is already close to scheduling a couple NBA workouts. If Gideon gets a shot by an NBA team, he is in the mold of a 3-and-D guy that has become commonplace.

Gideon participated in Nigeria’s Olympic training camp this summer and received high praise from NBA coach Mike Brown, who called him a “prototypical NBA wing.”

Gideon can choose to come back to school and has one year of eligibility remaining. The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft while maintaining college eligibility is June 1.

If Gideon does come back to college, I wouldn’t be shocked if he enters the transfer portal and plays somewhere else. I could easily still see him coming back to BYU, but it could be a mutual decision to transfer while BYU coaches prioritize players who have multiple years of eligibility remaining and would be able to play in the Big 12 beginning 2023.