Blake Wesley to enter NBA draft
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, April 1, 2022
After much speculation throughout the season, Blake Wesley made it official Wednesday afternoon: he will enter his name into the NBA draft. Players can enter their names into the draft without losing their college eligibility, so Wesley has until June 1 to decide if he will return to Notre Dame. However, he has made it clear that he intends to remain in the draft and forgo his remaining three years of eligibility.
“I am beyond thankful to be a part of this family. The coaching staff and faculty here are amazing and I’m blessed to have [had] this experience. You believed in me and gave me a chance to excel on and off the court,” Wesley said in the tweet. “Playing for the Notre Dame family and the South Bend community has made this year an incredible experience. It has always been a dream and a goal for me to play at the next level.”
Should he remain in the draft, Wesley would be the first one-and-done in Notre Dame basketball’s history. He was the Irish’s leading scorer this year, averaging 14.4 points per game after coming in as a four-star recruit from Riley High School. He was the first player who graduated from a South Bend public high school to sign with the Irish since 1985.
In addition to leading the team in scoring, he also averaged 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He was named second-team All-ACC and all-rookie team.
The Irish will now have a significant amount of production to replace next year, with leading rebounder and third-leading scorer graduate student forward Paul Atkinson Jr. having announced this week that he would not seek another year of eligibility. Senior forward Nate Laszewski is also testing the NBA draft waters, head coach Mike Brey said in an appearance on a Chicago radio station this week. Other players, including senior guard Prentiss Hubb, senior guard Dane Goodwin and senior guard Cormac Ryan, have yet to make a decision. Regardless, it appears that the Irish will look very different next year.
Most NBA draft experts have positioned Wesley as a mid-first-round pick. The draft is scheduled for June 23.