Niven Hart enters NBA Draft, Fresno State loses 6th player from 2019 roster

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)

If college basketball returns for the 2020-21 season, the Fresno State men’s basketball team will be a virtually new squad as Niven Hart announces that he will be entering the draft and not returning for sophomore year.

In a tweet on July 5, Hart announced that he would be forgoing his eligibility at Fresno State and entering his name in the 2020 NBA draft. 

“After careful consideration and lengthy conversations with my family, I have decided not to return for my sophomore year at Fresno St,” Hart said. “I will forgo my college eligibility by entering my name into the 2020 NBA Draft.”

Back in April, Hart made the same announcement that he would be entering his name in the 2020 draft pool, while maintaining his eligibility in case of a return to Fresno State.

Before coming to Fresno State, the Florida native made a name for himself through social media for his elite jumping and dunking ability — a skill that he would carry over into his freshman year.

Besides wowing the Save Mart Center fans with his dunking ability, Hart started to become a pivotal figure in the Bulldogs rotation toward the end of the 2019-20 seasons. 

Hart scored in double figures in six of his last eight games, with his first 20-point game off the bench coming against San Jose State on Feb. 12. He then followed that up two games later with the best game of his career as he nearly achieved his first double-double, finishing with 30 points and nine rebounds.

The departure of Hart marks the sixth member of the 2019-2020 Fresno State men’s basketball team — other than graduating seniors — to announce they would be playing in a new destination following the season.

Hart joins a list of former Bulldogs that includes Jarred Hyder, Mustafa Lawrence, Aguir Agau, Chris Seeley and Lazaro Rojas, all of which transferred out of Fresno State.

As of July 5, the Bulldogs have a total of four roster members who saw the floor in 2019. This list includes guards Jordan Campbell and Anthony Holland, forward Orlando Robinson and center Assane Diouf.

The new-look Bulldogs will have seven incoming recruits on the roster if the 2020 season takes place later this winter.

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