Fresno State guard Niven Hart declares for NBA Draft

Niven Hart (4) dunks on the fast break against Colorado State at the Save Mart Center on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (Vendila Yang/The Collegian)

Fresno State men’s basketball true freshman guard Niven Hart has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.

Earlier today, Hart posted a letter on his Instagram profile thanking the coaching staff and fans of Fresno State, as well as declaring his draft intentions.

“God has blessed me to have the opportunity to play the game I love at a school that has embraced me as family. I want to thank the coaching staff and fans at Fresno State for a great freshman year. I’m always thinking ahead concerning my career and my family,” said Hart.

“With that being said, I’ve decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft. I will maintain my collegiate eligibility and continue to trust God to guide me through the process of becoming a professional basketball player. I look forward to this process.”

The 6-foot-5 and 205 pound guard from Orlando, Fla., played 26 games with the Bulldogs.

Hart was a three-year varsity player at Oak Ridge High School and was widely regarded as one of the nation’s best and most explosive dunkers.

In his one year with the Bulldogs, Hart averaged 8.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 17.7 minutes per game. As a whole, he scored a total of 227 points, rebounded 64 times, earned nine assists, nine steals and four blocks. 

Hart was the first Bulldog freshman to score 30 points since Randy Holcomb did against Sacramento State back in 1998. That 30 point game came against San Jose State to lead the Bulldogs to an 84-78 overtime win. 

Back in 2018, the NCAA announced a rule change that would allow players to return to school if they declare for the NBA Draft but are not selected. The new rule states that players who participate in the NBA combine can return as long as they notify their athletics director of their intent by 5 p.m. the Monday after the draft.

The current rule replaced the old rule that permitted players to maintain eligibility if they withdraw from the draft 10 days after the NBA combine.

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