Queens-native Justin Wright-Foreman of Hofstra and Brooklyn-bred Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s will both enter the NBA Draft process, though neither plans to hire an agent, leaving open the option to return to their respective institutions.
Wright-Foreman ended his junior campaign as the nation’s fifth leading scorer at 24.4 points per contest while also earning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year honors.
“Growing up as a young boy from Queens, I had dreams and aspirations of always playing professionally in the NBA,” said Wright-Foreman. “This was a very thought-out decision I made with my family, and we feel that this is the best decision for me to better my future.”
In only his sophomore season, Ponds led the Big East in scoring, netting 21.6 points per contest, was second in steals only to teammate Justin Simon at 2.3 per game, and tied for fifth in assists at 4.7 dimes dropped per appearance.
“As a kid growing up my dream was to play in the NBA,” said Ponds. “My plan is to get as much NBA experience and knowledge as possible. In addition, I do not want close any doors.
“To get some proper evaluations on my game would be helpful to me,” he added. “I believe this was a smart decision, because not only do you can get a chance to experience the NBA, but you can also return back to college.”
Both Wright-Foreman and Ponds are two of the frontrunners to win the prestigious Haggerty Award, which is given to the top Division I men’s basketball player in the New York metropolitan area.
The last Johnnie to win the Award was Sir’Dominic Pointer of the Red Storm in 2015-16, while the last member of the Hofstra Pride to take home Haggerty gold was Charles Jenkins, the only three-time winner since Chris Mullin did so in the 1980’s. Unlike Mullin, Jenkins’ wins came in consecutive seasons from 2008-2011.
The NBA Draft Combine will be held in Chicago from May 16 to 20, and the NBA Draft will be held at Barclays Center on June 21. Ponds and Wright-Foreman have until 5 p.m. on June 11 to withdraw from the draft.