Gonzaga Bulldogs star big man Domantas Sabonis will declare for the upcoming NBA Draft and likely sign with an agent, thus foregoing any NCAA eligibility according to a tweet from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
This isn’t at all a surprise, as Sabonis had a breakout season for the ages in 2015-16. Stepping in as the Bulldogs’ starting center following teammate Przemek Karnowski being ruled out with a season-ending back injury, the 6-foot-11, 240 pounder averaged 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game while shooting an outstanding 62 percent from the field. In the NCAA Tournament, during which Gonzaga reached the Sweet Sixteen, he averaged 19.6 points, 14.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game while shooting 59 percent from the field.
Also helping Sabonis’ draft stock is the fact that great basketball genes run in the family. His father is Arvydas Sabonis, a Hall of Famer who played professional basketball for over 20 years in both Europe and the NBA, including seven with the Portland Trail Blazers. Arvydas Sabonis also won three Olympic medals, taking home gold playing for the USSR at the 1988 games in Seoul and bronze playing for Lithuania in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.
That said, though Domantas Sabonis’ overall stock still needs to be assessed with team workouts and the NBA Scouting Combine on the horizon, the numbers certainly suggest that he may be a first-round pick.
Stay tuned to Campus Sports for further updates from Sabonis’ path to the NBA!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports