After playing only one season for Villanova, forward Omari Spellman announced Wednesday on Instagram that he will remain in the NBA draft and hire an agent.
The 6-foot-9 Spellman, an academic redshirt during his first year with the Wildcats, made his decision on the final day that players could opt to return to their college team. He averaged 10.9 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds and was a key player in the team’s march to its second national championship in three years.
“I would like to announce that I will forgo my final three years of college eligibility and remain in the NBA draft,” Spellman said on Instagram after thanking coach Jay Wright, players, assistant coaches and support staff.
My experience in college has by far. more than anything else in my life, shaped me into the young man I am today. I have met friends that I will cherish forever. Villanova University is a very special place, and it holds an even more special place in my heart. And to my teamma- no to my brothers I will love you guys forever. Coach Wright has helped me mature as a man along with some of the best coaches in the country Kyle Neptune, Ashley Howard, George Halcovage, and Mike Nardi. I will forever appreciate everything done for me. To the Nova Nation, thank you for the support and love I have received as a member of the family and community, that is something that I will cherish forever and I know Villanova is a place I can always call home. And last, but probably the most important to me, is my mother away from home, Arleshia Davidson. We share a love and bond that will never be broken. In saying this, I would like to announce that I will forgo my final three years of college eligibility and remain in the NBA Draft! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING NOVA NATION!!!
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Spellman performed well at the NBA combine and offered teams a skill set of being able to stretch opposing defenses with three-point shots and effectively play in the post on both offense and defense.
He was among the Big East leaders in both three-point shooting (43.3 percent) and blocked shots (59 in 40 games). He made 39 starts and averaged 28.1 minutes.
Spellman’s decision means that the Wildcats have lost four of their top six players from their national-championship team, including swingman Mikal Bridges and guards Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo decided Tuesday to remain in the draft.
That leaves Villanova with just two remaining starters – fifth-year seniors Phil Booth and Eric Paschall – and a number of young players from last season’s team, including sophomores-to-be Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels.
Four newcomers – freshmen Jahvon Quinerly, Cole Swider and Brandon Slater, and graduate transfer Joe Cremo – will add depth to the roster, along with forwards Dylan Painter, who redshirted last year, and Tim Delaney.