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UCLA star Johnny Juzang enters NBA draft

UCLA v Gonzaga

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 03: Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins reacts in the second half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2021 NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES - Johnny Juzang, who starred for UCLA in the Bruins’ run to the Final Four, is entering his name in the NBA draft but not hiring an agent.

The sophomore guard announced his decision Tuesday on social media, leaving open the possibility of returning to Westwood. He averaged 22.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in six NCAA Tournament games. The Bruins lost to then-undefeated Gonzaga in the national semifinals in their first Final Four appearance since 2008.

“For many years, I’ve dreamt about playing professional basketball. But the journey to get to this point has truly been the beautiful part, crossing paths with such great people: coaches, mentors, and brothers,” Juzang wrote.

“I’m proud to announce that I’m declaring for the NBA Draft, while retaining my collegiate eligibility. I want to thank Coach Cronin and UCLA, the basketball program and the Bruin community, for welcoming me with such open arms. ... I am going continue to work and give the passion I always have and see where it takes me. I’ll then make an informed decision. Blessings!”

Juzang, who is from nearby Tarzana, averaged 16.0 points and 4.1 rebounds while starting 26 of 27 games after transferring from Kentucky, where he played as a freshman.

“I ask our fans to be understanding, as these young men all love UCLA but also deserve the right to explore their professional status,” coach Mick Cronin said.

Juzang’s 137 points in the NCAA Tournament were the second-most scored in a single tournament by any UCLA player. Gail Goodrich totaled 140 points through four games in the 1965 NCAA Tournament.