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BYU’s Gideon George declares for NBA draft

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Brigham Young Cougars forward Gideon George (5) shoots a 3-pointer as the Brigham Young Cougars play the Northern Iowa Panthers in an NIT game.

BYU Cougars forward Gideon George (5) shoots a 3-pointer as the Cougars play the Northern Iowa Panthers in an NIT game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, March 19, 2022. George has declared for the NBA draft.

Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

BYU forward Gideon George declared for the NBA draft on Friday, announcing the decision on social media.

“Today, I am taking the next step towards realizing my dream, and will be declaring for the NBA draft,” George wrote in a statement he shared on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing from Nigeria said he would keep the option open to return to college. If he returns to college, the senior would have one year of eligibility remaining, thanks to the COVID-19 relief year awarded to Division I student-athletes by the NCAA.

George started 18 of 33 games for BYU during the 2021-22 season and averaged 8.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 22.2 minutes per game.

He arrived at BYU prior to the 2020-21 season as a junior college transfer from New Mexico Junior College.

After starting nine games in his first season in coach Mark Pope’s program, George played an even bigger role for the Cougars this past season. He made 44 3-pointers, third-most on the team, and shot 34.9% from long range, and was also the team’s third-leading rebounder.

One of George’s best games at BYU came during the Cougars’ NIT run this past season. In a 90-71 win over Northern Iowa, he scored a career-high 27 points, hit 5 of 9 3-pointers and added six rebounds and an assist.