UCLA forward Chris Smith said Monday that he withdrew his name from the NBA draft and will return for his senior season.
The 6-foot-9 Smith averaged a team-best 13.1 points while being named the Pacific-12’s Most Improved Player of the Year for the 2019-20 season. He also averaged 5.4 rebounds and had 31 steals while earning first-team all-conference honors.
“I’m returning for my senior year, because I’d really like to finish what I’ve started at UCLA,” Smith said in his announcement on Twitter. “We have some unfinished business and I want one last run with my teammates and coaches.
“These guys mean the world to me. It’s also very important to me to finish up strong in the classroom and earn my degree.”
The uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic played a part in the decision, Smith’s father, Sean, told the Los Angeles Times. The outbreak led to the cancellation of workouts and the draft being pushed back until Oct. 16.