ESPN reported Friday that Yale junior guard Miye Oni will declare for the NBA Draft after being named Ivy Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
“I plan on entering the 2019 draft,” Oni reportedly told ESPN via text message. “I submitted my name to the Undergraduate Advisory (Committee) to legally protect myself and my NCAA eligibility, but I have every intention of staying in the draft. I’ll be signing with agent Harrison Gaines of SLASH Sports.”
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing out of Northridge, Calif. contributed 17.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game this season amid Yale’s Ivy title run.
Oni also announced the decision on his Instagram page, saying that he made the decision to declare for the NBA Draft after discussing his options with his family.
Oni has made arrangements to complete his degree if he does leave Yale early, he reportedly told ESPN.
Ranked No. 53 among ESPN’s top 100 prospects for this summer’s draft, Oni is looking to become the first Ivy player drafted in the NBA Draft since Penn’s Jerome Allen was selected in the second round (49th overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Oni impressed NBA scouts with his 29-point performance in a Yale win over Miami at the HoopHall Invitational in December and participated in the prestigious Nike Skills Academy in 2017, one of only 21 college players invited there.
“[Oni] obviously is excited about his opportunities going forward, and I am excited and happy for him,” Yale coach James Jones told the Yale Daily News. “He’s going to get information from the NBA in terms of where they see him going in the 2019 NBA Draft. If he’s anywhere from one to 40 on the draft, I will drive him to New York myself. If he’s someone that they’re thinking is going to be from 45 to 60, most of those young men end up in the G-League, and it would probably be better for him to come back to Yale and graduate in his normal time.”
Jones told the Yale Daily News that Oni will also working out with his trainer and the Yale coaching staff to prepare for workouts with NBA teams and that the junior will also be practicing with the rest of the team “as if nothing happened.”
First-round picks get guaranteed contracts. Second-round picks do not, but a NBC Sports study last year found that just under 69 percent of college players selected in the previous six NBA Drafts received at least a one-year guaranteed NBA contract. The previous season’s NBA minimum for a rookie was $815,615.
The NCAA withdrawal deadline is May 29 at midnight. A series of changes intended to allow more flexibility for college basketball players considering professional status that the NCAA announced in September 2018 included a provision permitting college basketball players who request an Undergraduate Advisory Committee evaluation, participate in the NBA combine and aren’t drafted to return to school as long as they notify their athletics director of their intent by 5 p.m. the Monday after the draft has not yet taken effect. But ESPN NBA draft analyst Jonathan Givony told the Yale Daily News the rule is not yet in effect.
Gaines played in 53 games for Penn from 2007 to 2009, averaging 8.3 points per game. He left Penn after his sophomore year, saying at the time that he “need(ed) to attend a school where I have confidence in the basketball team’s leader” before transferring to UC Riverside, where he appeared in 41 games from 2010 to 2012.
Since then, Gaines has become a high-profile agent after signing Lonzo Ball and his brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo.
— Harrison Gaines (@SlashCEO) March 29, 2019
The NBA Draft is to be held on June 20.
This post has been updated to correct Oni’s eligibility to return to Yale.