Rayshaun Hammonds leaving Georgia, keeps name in NBA draft pool

Georgia basketball-UGA-Rayshaun Hammonds
Georgia forward Rayshaun Hammonds announced he's leaving the UGA program and heading for the professional ranks.

ATHENS — Georgia basketball junior forward Rayshaun Hammonds has announced his career with the Bulldogs is over, and he is headed toward the professional ranks.

Hammonds hopes to be one of the 60 players selected in the 2020 NBA Draft, but he’ll face plenty of competition.

In addition to the outgoing class of seniors, there are 163 early entrants from the NCAA ranks and another 42 prospects available from the international ranks, per CBSsports.com

Hammonds made the announced on his Twitter account on Saturday, explaining that over the past few weeks he has taken the time under his goals.

Georgia coach Tom Crean no longer has any players leftover from the Mark Fox era as he attempts to build a winning culture and turn the Bulldogs into an annual NCAA tournament participant.

Hammonds, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound junior, showed flashes of pro league potential throughout his career, including his final outing.

Hammonds’ final performance was a 22-point, 11-rebound effort in Georgia’s season-ending win over Ole Miss at the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.

RELATED: Crean has Georgia playing best in postseason, dominates Ole Miss

The remainder of the tournament and season was cancelled the next day on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hammonds had perviously announced he would be testing the NBA draft waters on March 27.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, has prevented players like Hammonds from getting workouts and interviews with the NBA.

Hammonds’ announcement on Saturday was likely triggered by the NBA announcing on Friday it is delaying its NBA draft combine and draft, likely opening a window for better evaluation of prospects.

The NBA has also been discussing delaying the start of its season from October until December.

“In the middle of October when the season would normally start, you may not have the ability to put fans in there. Fans may not have the confidence to want to be there,” NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski said on Sportscenter.

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