Nikola Jovanovic staying in draft, won’t return to USC

The USC Trojans were fairly certain that they would be getting a big piece to their team back for the 2016-17 season. However, big man Nikola Jovanovic announced that he has decided to stay in the 2016 NBA Draft and not return to the Trojans.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported that despite not receiving an invite to the NBA Combine, Jovanovic would be staying in the draft and trying his hand at the next level. This is huge news as he was a big player for the Trojans last season.

Jovanovic’s announcement came on his Instagram account Wednesday and he seemed to lay out exactly why intended on staying in the draft.

I have made my decision that I will keep my name in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft. Playing in the NBA has been my dream and I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to start my professional career. I’m so blessed and thankful for the past 3 years that I have spent at USC. I have learned so much on and off the court and I’m glad that I will be getting my degree this summer. I want to thank my family, coach Andy, Pat Haden, coaching staff, my mentor John and whole athletic department for the full support that they have given me throughout this time! I also want to thank the fans for supporting me and my brothers for this past 3 seasons! I will always be a Trojan for life! #USC #NBADraft #FightOn

A photo posted by Nikola Jovanovic (@nikolajovanovic32) on May 25, 2016 at 10:35am PDT

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During the 2015-16 season, Nikola Jovanovic led the Trojans in field goal percentage while averaging 12.1 points per game and totaling 237 rebounds. He joins guard Julian Jacobs as the second USC player to declare for the NBA.

The Trojans are now without six projected returning players from a team that made the NCAA Tournament under first-year head coach Andy Enfield.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

  • Caleb BaileyCAMPUSSPORTS Writer
    Caleb is a young veteran of the sports journalism world that has a passion for college football, mostly the SEC, but namely the LSU Tigers. He also has an affinity for the Georgia Southern Eagles, because who doesn't love Erk Russell and national championships, right? He has experience working in print and online media as well as broadcasting, working with his high school alma mater football team and the Savannah Bananas.
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