AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Jaron Blossomgame declared he would be leaving Clemson to pursue a career in the NBA. Since then, he has been flying across the country to workout with various teams and has just arrived in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine.
Blossomgame was one of over 70 athletes invited to the event that will begin on Wednesday and continue through Sunday. Blossomgame hopes to improve his draft stock after the Tigers did make it to post-season play in 2016.
However, Blossomgame had an incredible season, leading the team by over 200 points with his 580 total points. Blossomgame reached the 1,000-point milestone in Clemson’s 66-52 victory over Georgia Tech on Feb. 13. He also ranked third in the ACC in points per game with his 18.7 average.
Head coach Brad Brownell spoke about how proud he was of Blossomgame at the ACC’s Spring Meetings in Amelia Island, Fla.
“It is a tough process certainly for all of us. We want the best for Jaron and I think he will show well,” Brownell said to The Clemson Insider on Tuesday. “I think he is a very talented player. I know he has done well in some workouts already for some NBA teams. He is more mature than some of the guys I think. I think he is probably in better shape because I know how hard he has worked at it these last few weeks. I think he will play well, and I hope he does. I’m excited to see how he does out there, and I know he’s excited about the chance to compete with the best players in college and guys who are going to be drafted.”
Because of a new rule, Blossomgame is allowed to decide up to 10 days after the combine if he wishes to withdrawl from the NBA Draft. This is because Blossomgame has not signed with an agent. He has until May 25 to make a decision.
This gives Brownell and Clemson fans hope for Blossomgame’s return as the star forward announced he would decide based on the feedback he receives. Brownell would certainly welcome Blossomgame back with open arms, but he also wants to make sure Blossomgame makes the best decision for his future.
“It is a little bittersweet. At the same time, we sure hope he comes back if that is what is in the best interest for all of us,” the Tigers’ head coach said. “It would be great to have an All-Conference player back, a guy who is a leader for us, a guy who scores and makes other guys better.”
Brownell is thankful the rule allows Blossomgame to feel out his options before he decides on whether to remain in the draft or return to play at Clemson, but he did mention it does make it a little more difficult to recruit.
“The hard part is as a coach right now with this new rule … it is really hard to get another guy,” Brownell said. “You can’t really recruit because nobody wants to come, a fifth-year guy or anyone who can have an impact right away, they really don’t want to do that because they don’t know if Jaron is going to be here. If Jaron is going to be here, they are not going to play.”