UNLV star Bryce Hamilton declares for NBA draft

UNLV Rebels guard Bryce Hamilton (13) drives the ball against Wyoming Cowboys guard Brendan Wen ...

UNLV swingman Bryce Hamilton declared for the NBA draft Monday, forgoing his final year of eligibility after a strong senior season.

Hamilton plans to sign with an agent, according to people close to him, thus making him ineligible to return to college.

“I am excited for the next chapter of my life and what the future holds for me,” he said on his Twitter account.

It’s not the first time Hamilton has put his name into the NBA draft.

After his junior season, the Pasadena, California, native declared for the draft but didn’t hire an agent, preserving his eligibility. He withdrew his name and returned to UNLV and led the Mountain West in scoring at 21.8 points per game.

Hamilton, a first-team all-conference selection, shot 43 percent, including 34.6 percent on 3-point attempts, and averaged 5.0 rebounds. He scored a career-high 42 points against Colorado State on Jan. 28, an effort that earned him national player of the week honors from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

“He’s definitely left a legacy,” coach Kevin Kruger said. “He’s a unique talent who had the ability to play and score at an incredibly high level.”

Hamilton’s hot shooting helped propel UNLV to the No. 5 seed in the Mountain West tournament, but the Rebels lost to Wyoming in the quarterfinals.

Hamilton averaged 16.0 points as a sophomore and 17.9 as a junior. He is ninth on UNLV’s career scoring list with 1,773 points.

“Thank you to the UNLV coaching staff and all my teammates for helping me get better each and every day in pursuit of my lifelong dream,” Hamilton wrote on Twitter. “Lastly, I would like to thank the Rebel fans for all the love and support over these last four years.”

13 pic.twitter.com/JLJrQoSiNZ

— Bryce Hamilton (@bham_10) March 28, 2022

The draft is June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“We’re ecstatic for Bryce to go forward with that chapter,” Kruger said. “I think he’s going to do great. There aren’t really words to put for what he’s meant for the program.”

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.