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USC’s Evan Mobley declares for NBA draft in unique way

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-USC vs Gonzaga

Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California Trojans forward Evan Mobley (4) against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Evan Mobley is leaving Southern California after one season to enter the NBA draft.

The 7-footer revealed his long-expected decision in a unique way. He posted a 21-second NFT (nonfungible token) on Twitter on Friday that he autographed and is auctioning on a blockchain-based marketplace.

“I’m headed to the league,” it said. “This has always been my dream and, through this NFT, I’m making my announcement that I’ll officially be turning pro. This right here is the new “rookie card” - and it’s 1-of-1.”

Mobley went on to say the auction winner will receive signed jerseys from USC and his first NBA team as well as two tickets to one of his rookie games and a meet-and-greet.

He averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2.4 assists for the Trojans, who advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament before losing to then-undefeated Gonzaga. Mobley was named the Pac-12’s player of the year, defensive player and freshman, the first in league history to sweep all three individual awards.

Mobley, from Murrieta, California, is projected to be a top-three pick in the NBA draft on July 29.

Mobley’s teammate, Isaiah White, said Friday he will return to USC for an extra season, which is allowed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The redshirt senior transferred from Utah Valley with one season of eligibility remaining. He averaged 7.6 points and 3.4 rebounds while making 28 starts.