NBA Draft prospect Ivan Rabb will skip the 2016 NBA Draft and return to the University of California for his sophomore season. He declared last night before the 8:59 p.m. PT deadline. Here is the official statement:
“Ivan is an tremendous person and student-athlete to have on our team. He and his family have put a lot of thought into making a decision that was right for him. He is a talented basketball player with a very bright future, and we are excited to have Ivan continue as a member of our Cal basketball program.”
Rabb averaged 12.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, per ESPN. He earned a spot on the All-Pac 12 second team and led California to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.
Rabb’s return is a huge boost for a team losing leading scorers Tyrone Wallace and Jaylen Brown. Seniors Jordan Matthews and Jabari Bird join Rabb as California’s Big-3.
This is a great example of NBA prospects doing whatever they can to boost their stock. Rabb is NBA ready, but another year in college to refine his game could put him in the top-5 in the 2017 NBA Draft. California is built to make a run in the NCAA Tournament after their recent first-round exit.
Many, including myself, are surprised about Rabb’s decision. It is about ensuring a successful future, not chasing money. More late first-round prospects should follow Rabb’s footsteps.