Catamount fans can exhale.
Junior guard Stef Smith, who declared for the NBA Draft in April, plans to be back for his senior season with the University of Vermont men’s basketball team. An announcement from the school on Thursday said the Toronto, Ontario native has removed his name from the pool of potential draftees.
UVM statement stated: “Stef Smith has officially withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will return to UVM for his senior season.”
Smith was the third Catamount to declare for the draft in four seasons. He was not made available for additional comments.
Smith’s teammate, senior forward Anthony Lamb, also declared for the draft a year ago before withdrawing his name from consideration. Trae Bell-Haynes did so as a junior in 2017.
Smith and the other underclassmen exploring their options originally had until 5 p.m. on June 15 to withdraw and keep their NCAA eligibility. Due to the postponement of the draft combine and the draft, the NCAA extended the deadline to Aug. 3.
The draft had been scheduled to take place on June 25.
Smith started 32 of 33 games for UVM this past winter. He earned an America East first-team all-conference nod for his efforts as Vermont claimed the league title for the third time in four seasons in unprecedented fashion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Catamounts’ backcourt star was second on the team with 14. points per game, had team-highs in assists and steals, and led America East in 3-point percentage (42.3%).
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