Auburn basketball player Mustapha Heron has decided not to enter the 2018 NBA Draft, but he likely won’t return to the Tigers. He reportedly is on his way to another program.
Heron announced his entry into the 2018 NBA Draft with an intent to hire an agent. However, Heron did not sign with an agent. His pre-draft process did not include an invitation to the 2018 NBA Draft Combine and it featured workouts with only four teams.
On Tuesday morning, basketball reporter Adam Zagoria tweeted Heron would withdraw from the draft and transfer to another school. Heron is still listed in Auburn’s campus directory.
“What people don’t know is Mustapha’s mom has been sick for a year,” Bryan Heron told Zagoria on Tuesday. “Being home, he wants to get closer to his mom. He knew he had to go back to school. The last month he’s been here and he wants to be close to his mom, where she can see him play.”
The Connecticut native and the first 5-star signing in Auburn basketball history averaged 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds last season. He was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press in the Tigers’ run to the regular-season SEC championship.
Transfer speculation arose about Heron following his freshman season on the Plains. Instead, he announced his intention to stay in school. This time, though, he’ll be going elsewhere.
Heron leaves an Auburn roster that returns center Austin Wiley and fellow wing Danjel Purifoy. The former blue-chip recruits sat out the 2017-18 season because of their families’ involvement with former assistant coach Chuck Person, who was charged following a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball.
Next season, the Tigers will add the talents of former VCU combo guard Samir Doughty, who sat out the 2017-18 season as part of the NCAA’s transfer rules.