In a YouTube video entitled “My Journey to Professional Basketball!” BYU junior basketball guard Elijah Bryant announced Wednesday he is leaving the team to turn pro.
While the school made no official announcement, the Salt Lake Tribune reports BYU did confirm Bryant will hire an agent, rendering him ineligible for continued college competition instead of the route of testing draft waters without an agent.
Bryant led BYU in scoring in the 2017-18 season, averaging 18.2 points per game, adding 6.3 rebounds per contest and shooting 41.5 percent from the 3-point line.
The 6-foot-5 guard transferred to BYU for two seasons after playing his first year at Elon College, where he was the Colonial Athletic Association’s freshman of the year.
Speculation swirled about such a move after BYU’s season ended based on Bryant’s history with knee problems and his older age. He enrolled for a year of post-high school prep school and sat out a year after transferring.
In his video, Bryant says he has graduated from the school and this is his opportunity to fulfill his NBA dreams. If he can’t find an NBA roster spot, he is a likely candidate to play professionally overseas.
BYU sophomore forward Yoeli Childs also entered his name in the NBA Draft but has not hired an agent. Many players use that opportunity as a way to get direct feedback from NBA scouts to improve their game and see if leaving school early is a good decision.
Prior to the 2017-18 season, the Cougars lost Eric Mika to an early departure. The center now plays professionally in Italy.
BYU expects guard Nick Emery to return to the program after withdrawing from school last season. He would join returners like TJ Haws, Jahshire Hardnett and Zac Seljaas as scholarship guards. Rotation big men Luke Worthington, Payton Dastrup and Dalton Nixon also return for the Cougars.
The Cougars ended last season with a record of 24-11, finishing third in the West Coast Conference before losing at Stanford in the first round of the NIT. BYU has not been to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64 since 2014 and has missed the dance in three straight seasons.