Declaring for 2023 NBA Draft, Jaime Jaquez Jr. officially bids goodbye to UCLA
Senior guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. stands with the ball during UCLA men’s basketball’s regular-season finale against Arizona. Jaquez declared for the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday. (Jeremy Chen/Assistant Photo editor)
By Jon Christon
April 6, 2023 1:45 p.m.
This post was updated April 6 at 10:16 p.m.
After four years of standout play, Jaime Jaquez Jr. is off to the professional ranks.
The UCLA men’s basketball senior guard/forward is declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft, he announced on social media Thursday afternoon. He will forgo his remaining year of collegiate eligibility, officially ending his Bruin career.
“My four years at UCLA have been incredible, and I’ll always be proud to be a Bruin,” Jaquez wrote in the post. “But I’m also excited about my future, my NBA dreams and my continued basketball growth. I’d like to announce that I am declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft.”
Bruin 4 life 💛💙 pic.twitter.com/1nvJZCKvsE
— Jaime Jaquez Jr (@jaquez_jr) April 6, 2023
The senior was a rare four-year starter, improving each season. Originally a recruit of former coach Steve Alford, Jaquez has been a mainstay of coach Mick Cronin’s rotation since the coach’s arrival in 2019.
“Jaime Jaquez Jr. has shown everyone that he’s a leader and a winner,” Cronin said in a statement. “It’s hard for me to put into words what he has meant to our program, but he’s obviously been a huge part of our success. … His dedication, his loyalty and his tenacity are unmatched, and I can’t wait to see him play in the NBA.”
Jaquez is coming off his best season yet, a senior campaign in which he won the Bruins’ first Pac-12 Player of the Year award of the last decade and led UCLA to its third straight Sweet 16. He averaged career highs across the board en route to a Second Team All-American honor.
He will end his UCLA career among the program’s all-time greats. Jaquez finished eighth all-time in program history in scoring with 1,802 career points and 11th in rebounding with 842 career rebounds. He also finished top 10 in both games played and career steals.
Jaquez is currently slated as a late first-round pick in a number of mock drafts.
“To all of UCLA’s fans, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your life for four years,” Jaquez wrote. “Please know, I gave you everything that I had.”