Wichita State sophomore guard Landry Shamet will declare for the 2018 NBA Draft, according to an Instagram post on Shamet's feed on Thursday afternoon.
Shamet, a 21-year-old from Kansas City, told the Eagle that he is currently unsigned, but does plan to sign with an agent, which will effectively end his career at Wichita State. Shamet averaged a team-best 14.9 points and 5.2 assists, while making 44 percent on three-pointers this season.
"It's hard to let go of something and say goodbye, but when an opportunity presents itself in front of you and you feel good about it and your intuition is good, then you come to terms that it's actually a pretty easy decision," Shamet told the Eagle in a phone interview. "This is what I wanted to do forever and it's what's best for me and my family right now."
Shamet said the appeal of providing for his mother, Melanie, who raised him as a single parent in Kansas City, was too much to pass up. If Shamet is drafted in the first round, he is guaranteed a two-year contract worth at least a total of $2.1 million.
"She's my biggest motivation and I've seen what she's done for me over the years and what she's endured to put me in this situation," Shamet said. "I know I can't ever repay her for any of that. I understand there are things that money can't pay for. I just want to hopefully make her proud and make her life a little easier."
The majority of NBA Draft projections have Shamet pegged as a late first-rounder or early second-rounder.
Shamet will have opportunities to improve his stock through individual workouts for NBA teams and at the draft combine in Chicago in mid-May.
He has the option to declare for the draft and still participate in the pre-draft evaluation process before deciding by June 11 to return to WSU for his junior season. But Shamet doesn't plan to go that route and is in the process of hiring an agent.
"I know myself and I believe in myself and I think that's why I was so confident to be able to leave," Shamet said. "When I was coming out of high school, I probably wasn't even a top-eight player in the state of Missouri. So I've overcome a lot and I've always been overlooked and I think I'll always carry that chip on my shoulder."
So what's next for Shamet?
Even he's still figuring that out.
Shamet said he is enrolled in two online classes and WSU and plans to finish those through May, but he is likely to remain in Kansas City to work out and prepare for his NBA evaluation.
"I do feel like I am the best shooter in the draft and that's something I think I can really offer any organization: somebody that can knock down shots," Shamet said. "But in the NBA, you've got to be able to get your shot off of the bounce and on 1-on-1. So I'll be working on creating for myself a little more, especially off the bounce, and defensively getting more phsyical and just in general getting more physical."
Shamet would be the fourth WSU player to make it to the NBA in the past five seasons, joining Cleanthony Early, Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet.
In his lengthy Instagram post, Shamet thanked WSU fans, his family, WSU's coaches, and his teammates.
After declaring on Thursday afternoon, Shamet said he was overwhelmed by the amount of support he received from WSU fans.
"I just want them to know how much I appreciated them," Shamet said. "It's kind of reassuring to see all of the love I've been getting the last few minutes. It's cool, it's gratifying, and it's humbling to know I had the privilege to play in front of all of those people and receive that support for so long."