Evan Mobley declared for the NBA draft on Friday, closing the final chapter of a single storybook season in which the 7-footer helped propel a program revival, swept the Pac-12 awards, and led USC to the Elite Eight.
Now, after an already historic run, he’ll look to become the highest-picked Trojan in the history of the NBA draft.
Mobley’s decision to declare had been expected ever since he committed to USC in August 2019 as the highest-rated recruit in the program’s history. But how he announced on Friday was unique. The top prospect will auction off his draft declaration as a one-of-a-kind nonfungible token (NFT) titled “League Bound.”
“I’ve dreamed about turning pro since I was a kid,” Mobley wrote. “Come along for the journey.”
— Evan Mobley (@evan_mobley7) April 16, 2021
His sole season at USC was certainly one of a kind for the Trojans. Due to the pandemic, Mobley never played in front of fans at Galen Center. Still, the 7-footer presided over a program resurgence, living up to the sky-high expectations that followed him from Rancho Christian School to USC.
Mobley led the Pac-12 in rebounds (averaging 8.7 per game) and blocks (2.9), while also averaging 16.4 points and 2.4 assists. He was named Pac-12 player of the year, defensive player of the year and freshman of the year. He became a unanimous All-American. And soon, he’ll likely be a top-three pick in the NBA draft.
The only Trojan to ever be selected that high was O.J. Mayo, who was drafted third overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008. After an extraordinary season, Mobley may be picked higher.
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