Matt Haarms officially says he won’t return to BYU: ‘It’s time to move on into the next chapter of my life’
7-foot-3 big man announces he will enter NBA draft
Mark Pope will have a hole to fill in the middle of his BYU basketball program next season.
Matt Haarms, the 7-foot-3 center, announced on Instagram Friday that he will not return to BYU, saying, “It is time for me to move into the next chapter of my life. After many conversations with those I trust, I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and enter the NBA draft.”
Haarms came to BYU as a graduate transfer from Purdue last offseason. In his one season in Provo, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. Haarms was named the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was also on the All-WCC second team.
Despite being a grad transfer, Haarms could have returned for one more season at BYU because the NCAA provided a free year of eligibility for every student-athlete this academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I could have never imagined how hard it would be to say goodbye to the BYU community. From the day I committed here I was embraced by both my teammates and the community as a whole and I will be forever grateful for my year spent in Provo,” Haarms said on his Instagram post.
“I am also extremely thankful for our coaching staff, who made me feel valued every single day and who worked tirelessly to put me in the best position to take my game to the next level.”
Haarms blocked 49 shots this past season, including two games with five blocks and 18 blocks over the Cougars’ final six games. He also shot 9 of 9 from the floor in a late-January win over Portland.
“We love Matty Haarms! Unbelievable teammate!” BYU assistant coach Cody Fueger said on Twitter following his announcement. “Grateful that Matt came to BYU! Looking forward to watching your journey!”