Star UMD men’s basketball forward Jalen Smith will enter the 2020 NBA Draft and forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility, he announced yesterday.
“I am thankful to the coaches and staff at the University of Maryland who afforded me the opportunity to stay home to receive an education and play basketball at the college of my dreams,” he said. “I’m also thankful to my brothers who donned the Terrapin uniform with me at Xfinity Center and to the best fans in all of college sports, Terp Nation.”
A McDonald’s All-American and five-star recruit out of Mount Saint Joseph High School, Smith turned into one of the most formidable forwards in college basketball. As a sophomore, he was a unanimous Third Team All-American selection, earning the nod from all major publications. The Baltimore native was also a top-five finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award and a top-10 semifinalist for the Citizen Naismith Player of the Year Award.
A 2020 First Team All-Big Ten and All-Defensive Team selection, Smith was the only player in the country to record 60 blocks and 30 three-pointers. He was first in the Big Ten and ranked third nationally with 21 double-doubles while leading Maryland to the Big Ten championship.
Now, he’s looking to become the Terps’ sixth player drafted by the NBA in the last five seasons and 61st overall.
“I am thrilled for Jalen and his family for making such an important and exciting decision,” said Head Coach Mark Turgeon. “From the minute we started recruiting Jalen, we knew the kind of quality player and person we would be getting, and he lived up to it in every way. As incredible of a player Jalen is on the court, he is that and more as an individual off the court. We will miss him in College Park. I cannot wait to watch Jalen at the next level, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best on their journey.”
Read the letter Smith posted on Twitter here.
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