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Men’s Basketball

V.J. Beachem declares for NBA Draft, will not hire agent

| Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Notre Dame junior forward V.J. Beachem declared for the NBA Draft on Tuesday but will not hire an agent, a move that retains his NCAA eligibility for the 2016-17 season.

Under new rules instituted this year, players can declare for the draft and attend the draft combine without losing their eligibility, given the player hasn’t hired an agent. Irish head coach Mike Brey said in a press release he pushed Beachem to declare to gauge where he’s at with NBA scouts.

“I really pushed for V.J. to take advantage of the new rules to get a better understanding of his future in professional basketball,” Brey said in the release.

Irish junior forward V.J. Beachem throws down a dunk during the first half of Notre Dame’s 88-74 Elite Eight loss to North Carolina on Sunday.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish junior forward V.J. Beachem throws down a dunk during the first half of Notre Dame’s 88-74 Elite Eight loss to North Carolina on March 27 in Philadelphia.

Beachem finished the season on a high, averaging 17.5 points in four NCAA tournament games en route to being named to the East Regional’s all-tournament team.

“After our run in the tournament, Coach Brey brought up the idea of entering my name in the NBA Draft process and after talking with my family, I am excited about this opportunity,” Beachem said in a statement. “The process will allow me to push my development to another level and get a better idea of what the organizations in the NBA think of my abilities on the court at this point in my career.

Brey said going through the NBA process will allow Beachem to further his game, whether he returns to Notre Dame or keeps his name in the hat in May.

“He finished the season on an outstanding run and the ability to go through this process will be another step forward in his confidence as a player and as a leader in our program,” Brey said. “This can really set him up for a great finish to his college career or provide him the opportunity to play the game at its highest level.”

Invitations to the NBA’s draft combine will be extended the first week of May, with the combine taking place the week of May 10 in Chicago. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native will then have until May 25 to remove his name from consideration for the draft if he chooses to return to Notre Dame.

Junior forward V.J. Beachem starts off a four-point play with a made 3-pointer during Notre Dame’s 76-75 win over Stephen F. Austin on Sunday at Barclays Center.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Junior forward V.J. Beachem starts off a four-point play with a made 3-pointer during Notre Dame’s 76-75 win over Stephen F. Austin on March 20 in Brooklyn, New York, at the Barclays Center.

Beachem joins former Irish guard Demetrius Jackson as underclassmen declaring for this year’s draft. Jackson, who indicated he would hire an agent when he declared March 29, does not have further eligibility at Notre Dame. Senior forward Zach Auguste is also in contention for NBA teams this summer, with the big man’s 22 double-doubles this season likely to boost his stock. Jackson and Auguste were named the team’s most valuable players at the team’s season-ending banquet Monday night.

Just two Notre Dame players have been selected in the NBA Draft before exhausting their collegiate eligibility, both of whom left following their junior seasons: Troy Murphy went 14th overall to the Golden State Warriors in 2001, while Adrian Dantley was selected sixth by the Buffalo Braves in 1976. Both Jackson and Beachem could join the two Ring of Honor members in the elite club.

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