Auburn point guard Jared Harper will forgo his senior season on The Plains and enter his name in the NBA Draft, he announced on his Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
"First, I would like to thank God for providing me the talent to play the game that I love and giving me the opportunity to share lifetime memories of our historic run," Harper wrote on Twitter. "My dream coming out of high school was to lead Auburn to a national championship and we were close. There are so many people to thank for my success at Auburn."
"First, I would like to thank Coach Pearl for believing in me, the entire coaching staff, our managers, our fans, my teammates and the best strength coach and athletic trainer coach Damon and Clark! You guys were key for me never missing a game at Auburn and always having me prepared to compete at the highest level every game."
"With the support from our coaching staff and my family, I have decided to chase my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. I have decided to forego my senior year and declare for the 2019 NBA draft and sign with an agent. Again, thanks for the continued support and prayers as I transition to the next journey of my career."
The Mableton, Georgia, native also entered the draft process last season but eventually withdrew. Harper said on Twitter he has signed with an agent this time around. That used to prevent players from returning to school, but new NCAA rules would allow Harper to come back to Auburn if he so chooses.
As the unquestioned leader of Bruce Pearl's run-and-gun Auburn offense for the past three seasons, Harper averaged 13.5 points and 4.8 assists per game. This season, he averaged 15.3 points and 5.8 assists in arguably his best year.
“Jared Harper has been the quarterback of this basketball program for the last three years,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “He came here on a promise that together we could help make Auburn basketball relevant. Promises made. Promises kept."
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Harper was named to an All-SEC team twice and is one of two players in Auburn history to record 1,200 points, 450 assists, 350 free-throw makes and 200 rebounds after Eddie Johnson in 1973-77. He's just one of five players in SEC history with 1,400 points, 500 assists and 200 3s in a career.
His 511 career assists rank fifth in program history, including his 231 assists last season — the best single-season mark in Auburn history.
Harper is 14th all-time in scoring at Auburn with 1,427 points. He's sixth in Auburn history in 3-point makes with 213.
Harper also drove Auburn's offense in this year's historic Final Four run. He was named the Midwest Regional's MVP after the Tigers' Elite Eight win over Kentucky.
ESPN's current draft rankings currently have Harper as the No. 61 prospect. His impressive ability to blow by NBA-caliber talent during Auburn's Final Four run elevated his draft stock over the past month.
“I have always been a believer in Jared," Pearl said. "He is a special player with speed, quickness, power and a skill level that is unmatched by virtually any player his size. He will make it in the NBA.”
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