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Robinson-Earl declares for 2021 NBA Draft

The Villanova big man is looking to make the big jump for the NBA.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Villanova at Baylor Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It’s officially official.

The NBA Draft conversation surrounding Jeremiah Robinson-Earl only continued to build over the 2020-21 season, and on Friday morning, he announced that he signed with an agent and will be declaring for the NBA Draft.

He first announced the news on social media, and later elaborated on his decision.

“I sat down with my family, the coaches, and just the people that are around me and know the most just to talk about what my decision should be,” Robinson-Earl said. “We were both confident, especially last year, I could have been in a position where I was drafted, but there wasn’t a lot of guaranteed answers and opportunity there. I feel like coming back for my second year to make sure as a player and a person in all aspects put in the best position for this year.

“I think I’m ready for this, and I think it’s gonna be a great step in the right direction for my career, and I’m really excited.”

Jay Wright knew this moment was coming after Robinson-Earl’s freshman season.

“All of these decisions are really difficult, because they’re like your sons,” Wright said. “You want to give them the best advice you can, and then you want them to make their own decision too. This one with Jeremiah was really easy, because he was so clear. ... We kind of knew at the end of last year, as long as he didn’t get hurt, this was probably going to be the year, so this one was really clear and easy.”

Robinson-Earl led the Villanova Wildcats in both scoring and rebounding this past season, with 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, en route to earning a share of the Big East Player of the Year award.

Throughout his two seasons with Villanova, he started in all 56 games he appeared in and finished with career averages of 12.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. He also shot 47.8% overall.

Aside from his prowess on the court, Robinson-Earl is also a star student off of it.

“He’s got the highest GPA on our team, which says a lot by the way,” Wright said. “I know he’ll come back and complete his degree when the time is right. ... This is a great young man, who’s done an amazing job. He’s going to have an incredible career in the NBA, and I’m excited to start this part of the process with him and watch him grow.

“This isn’t close to how good he can be, but I do think it’s the right time for him to enter this process.”

Robinson-Earl also won the 2020 Big East Freshman of the Year in his debut season and was a 2021 finalist for the Karl Malone Award, an accolade given to the nation’s top power forward in college basketball.

Although he plans on getting an agent, he’s still mulling over his options between different agencies and plans to make a decision soon.

In the meantime, once he’s done enjoying a little bit of R&R and a return to the “real world” after months in a bubble and controlled environment, he hopes to start to get to work and improve himself for the draft.

“Going into the future, just working on my guard skills,” Robinson-Earl said. “My whole life, I’ve been either a big, or a ‘4,’ or in the post, kind of just around the goal, so I’m real comfortable with that, but now just expanding my game out to the perimeter. I feel like that’s what the game is, a lot of the guys in the league are big guys, forwards that can shoot the ball, dribble the ball, come off ball screens, so I feel like that’s a big aspect of what I want to work on.”