Gamecocks’ Lawson Declares For NBA Draft, Eligible To Return

Gamecocks’ Lawson Declares For NBA Draft, Eligible To Return
Freshman AJ Lawson has declared for the NBA Draft (Source: South Carolina Athletics)

COLUMBIA, S.C. - University of South Carolina freshman guard A.J. Lawson announced on Wednesday that he plans to submit his name for the 2019 NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent. Lawson will have until 10 days following the NBA Draft Combine (May 14-19, Chicago) to make his decision to remain in the draft, or return to South Carolina for his sophomore season.

"Thank you to the fans, coaches, staff and my teammates for a fantastic freshman year," Lawson said. "I want to thank God for his blessings. The NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I have decided to explore my possibilities. I will not be hiring an agent, but will be entering my name in the 2019 NBA Draft."

"We are very excited for A.J. and the opportunity that he has to go through the process and test the NBA waters," South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said. "He has worked extremely hard on the court to put himself in this position, and now, with declaring for the draft, he will be able to gather information and feedback from those at the next level."

Lawson averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game during his rookie season in the Garnet and Black, en route to SEC All-Freshman Team accolades from league coaches. He had 18 double-figure scoring games, including six 20-point outings, while also dishing five or more assists a team-best eight times. In conference action, Lawson had nine double-figure scoring games, including an SEC season high 24 points in two Gamecocks wins, the road victory at Vanderbilt and the come-from-behind home win over Arkansas. His season high six 3-pointers led the Gamecocks in the home win over Texas A&M and he dished an SEC high six assists in the win over Ole Miss.