Saint Joseph’s Hawk and 2016 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, DeAndre’ Bembry, has declared for the NBA Draft and he’s not looking back.
The junior forward released a statement today through the Philadelphia Daily news stating, “I have officially declared for the draft, and I’ve signed with an agent. This decision was extremely difficult, but at this point I want to focus all of my attention on the next phase of my basketball career and I’m ready to take this step.”
He added, “St. Joe’s has been absolutely awesome and I’ll always love the fans, players, and coaching staff. Coach [Phil] Martelli and his staff have been absolutely great for me but now it’s time to start this new chapter. I appreciate all the love and support so much and definitely hope it continues in the future. The NBA has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and now that it’s within reach, I plan on taking full advantage of the opportunity.”
Bembry averaged 17.4 points and 7.8 rebounds this season, just behind a surprising performance from senior Isaiah Miles, but was the Hawks most balanced player, leading the team with 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
The Charlotte, NC native was a All-Conference First Team selection as a sophomore and has been a part of two A-10 tournament championship teams.
Bembry is currently projected as the No.32 overall pick by DraftExpress.com, so figures to fall somewhere in between the late first to middle of the second round in this June’s draft.
His early departure leaves a massive hole in Saint Joseph’s 2016-17 roster for Martelli to fill. The Hawks will now lose Bembry alongside All-Conference Second Team selection Miles, as well as fellow seniors Aaron Brown and Papa Ndao. The foursome accounted four roughly 66% of the Hawks’ scoring this season and will now bid adieu to all three of SJU’s double-digit scorers from this year’s championship team.
The last time Saint Joseph’s lost three double-digit scorers came in 2014 after the trio of Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts Jr. and Halil Kanacevic graduated following the Hawks’ A-10 Tournament Championship that season. SJU won 24 games during 2013-14 before falling to eventual national champ UConn in overtime in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They followed that season with a 13-18 record and a 10th-place A-10 finish before bouncing back big-time this past season.