Stevenson grad, former Illinois Mr. Basketball Jalen Brunson declares for NBA Draft

CHICAGO – It really hasn’t been that long since he was making a name for himself in the suburbs as the best player in the State of Illinois.

Now Jalen Brunson, following a successful college career, is taking the next leap in his career.

The Villanova guard, who led the Wildcats to the National Championship last Monday, announced today that he will forgo his senior season to end this June’s NBA Draft. Brunson announced the move in a letter published by ESPN.

“I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university,” wrote the guard on his decision.

A native of Lincolnshire, Brunson was the 2015 Illinois Mr. Basketball when he chose to attend Villanova. He made an impact immediately, starting on the Wildcats’ 2015-2016 National Championship team as a freshman. He took on more of a scoring role his last two seasons, averaging 14.7 points per game in his sophomore season then upped that to 18.9 in his junior year.

Brunson also had a career-high 4.6 points per game as Villanova won their second National Championship in three seasons. He’s expected to be a late first to early second round pick.