UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. declares for NBA draft
LOS ANGELES - UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. has declared for the NBA draft, with the senior deciding to forgo an extra year of eligibility available because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jaquez announced his decision Thursday on his social media accounts.
“I have fulfilled my dream of playing basketball for and graduating from UCLA,” he posted. “To all of UCLA’s fans, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your life for four years. Please know, I gave you everything that I had. My four years at UCLA have been incredible, and I’ll always be proud to be a Bruin. But I’m also excited about my future, my NBA dreams and my continued basketball growth.”
Jaquez averaged 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in 37 games while helping the Bruins to a 31-6 record this season. They lost to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament after winning the school’s first Pac-12 regular-season title since 2013.
The guard-forward from nearby Camarillo was a consensus second-team All-America selection in his fourth year in Westwood. He finished eighth on UCLA’s all-time scoring list with 1,802 points and 11th in career rebounds at 842. He ranks eighth in career steals with 178 and ninth on all-time games played at 134.
“We built our program around his competitive spirit and toughness, starting four years ago,” coach Mick Cronin said in a statement. “His dedication, his loyalty and his tenacity are unmatched, and I can’t wait to see him play in the NBA.”
Last week, junior guard Jaylen Clark announced he would enter the draft. However, he did not indicate whether he would hire an agent ahead of the June 22 draft or retain his remaining eligibility. He has until May 31 to withdraw and be able to return to Westwood.