Anfernee Simons to Skip College, Declare for 2018 NBA Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2018

IMG Post Grad National's Anfernee Simons #3 in action against Vermont Academy during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Sunday, January 14, 2018, in Springfield,MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Shooting guard Anfernee Simons has decided to enter the 2018 NBA draft.

"After discussing the matter with my parents, I have decided to forgo the opportunity to play in the NCAA and to instead enter the NBA draft," Simons said in a statement Thursday, via Evan Daniels of 247Sports. "I am very thankful for the support I received at IMG Academy and from the NCAA coaches who recruited me. I am ready and excited to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski initially broke the news through agents Drew Rosenhaus and Bobby Petriella.

Simons attends IMG Academy as a post-graduate, and since he will be 19 and one year removed from high school by the time the 2018 NBA draft rolls around, he is eligible.

Simons originally committed to play college basketball at Louisville, but he decommitted after the FBI probe into the program. In November, he told Daniels he was leaning toward attending college rather than entering the draft.

Per 247Sports, Simons is a 5-star recruit who ranks as the No. 7 overall player and No. 1 combo guard in the 2018 class.

Simons' skipping college in the one-and-done era isn't unprecedented, as Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker did something similar to enter the 2016 NBA draft.

According to Wojnarowski, Simons was selected No. 19 overall in ESPN's most recent 2018 NBA mock draft.

Simons will be part of a stacked draft class that already includes Oklahoma guard Trae Young, Arizona center Deandre Ayton, Slovenian guard Luka Doncic and Texas center Mo Bamba.