UC Santa Barbara’s McLaughlin declares for NBA draft
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The reigning Big West Player of the Year has entered his name in the NBA Draft. UC Santa Barbara's star guard JaQuori McLaughlin announced his plans to enter the draft Wednesday on social media.
McLaughlin led the Gauchos to an impressive 22-5 overall record, a Big West title and a near upset over Creighton in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
In his announcement, McLaughlin thanks the UCSB community and the Santa Barbara area for welcoming him "with open arms."
"The experiences I have had here as a Gaucho will be with me my entire life and they've prepared me for the next chapter in my life," McLaughlin said. "To the entire UCSB coaching staff and my teammates thank you for believing in me, making me into a better player and leader, and allowing me to be myself. I will always cherish the times we had and the many accomplishments we achieved throughout my time here."
As a senior, declaring for the draft is mostly a formality for McLaughlin, but the guard will hope to ride the wave of a successful college career to become the next UCSB Gaucho to find a home in the NBA. Former UCSB guard Gabe Vincent has carved out a role in the rotation for the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat and former UCSB stud James Nunnally recently inked a two-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Although we've seen the last of McLaughlin in a Gaucho jersey, the program will continue under the stewardship of head coach Joe Pasternack, who signed an extension after a tremendous season.