Brown declares for NBA draft

Patrick Yost Sports

Morgan County’s Tookie Brown, a junior guard at Georgia Southern University, announced last week that he would declare for the 2018 NBA draft but will maintain his college eligibility by not hiring an agent. Brown will have the option to return to school for his senior season.

Brown, who led Morgan County High School to a state championship game in 2014 and to a runner–up the following year, has received All–Sun Belt Conference and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All–District honors for three consecutive years while at Georgia Southern, according to the school’s website. He has averaged 18.9 points, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game and ranked third in the Sun Belt in scoring, second in field goal percentage (.532), fifth in assists, third in assist-to-turnover ratio and second in steals. He ranks in the top 25 nationally and led the conference in free throws attempted and free throws made and is one of two players listed under 6 feet tall ranked in the top 100 nationally in field goal percentage.

Brown was featured on a broadcast teleconference announcing the news. In the teleconference he said, “Without Coach (Mark) Byington and my teammates, none of this would be possible, so I want to thank them and the coaching staff for helping me get here,” Brown said. “I think from my sophomore year to my junior year, I improved on a lot of things, and my family and I had that talk and decided it was time to make that decision. Both options are a win for me. I can come back here and play again and get my degree or I can go pro. Either one is good for me, so I’m just enjoying the process.”

Coach Byington concurred. “Tookie wants to test the process, and he has my 100 percent backing,” Byington said. “It’s a chance for him to get evaluated by the NBA and see where he is. For him, it’s two great opportunities — he’s either going to play in the NBA or he’s going to come back to Georgia Southern, where he will have a chance to be if not the best, one of the best basketball players to ever play here and have a chance to compete for a championship.”

According to the website Brown can begin working out with NBA teams as early as April 24 and is also eligible to be invited to the NBA Draft Combine May 16-20. The deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft while maintaining NCAA eligibility is May 30.

Brown is the 17th player in the 42-year history of the Sun Belt to earn first-team all-conference accolades in three seasons and became the first Georgia Southern player to accomplish the feat in Georgia Southern history. According to the website no player has earned the honor four times.

He scored 20-plus points in 16 games this season, led the Eagles in scoring in 21 contests and led the team in assists 24 times. The first Eagle to record 500 or more points in three straight seasons, Brown ranks sixth in the modern era in career scoring at Georgia Southern with 1,718 points.

2018 NBA draft timeline

April 22: Early entry declaration deadline (11:59 p.m. ET)

May 16-20: NBA combine (Chicago)

May 30: Withdrawal deadline to maintain NCAA eligibility

June 11: Early entry withdrawal deadline to maintain eligibility for future NBA drafts (5 p.m. ET)

June 21: NBA draft

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