AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorn center Jaxson Hayes made his decision to leave Texas a month ago, but stayed in school at UT to finish up his freshman year (which ends Thursday, May 9).
Hayes was an unknown when the season started, but quickly rose up the ranks and on to NBA draft boards. Hayes finished the year averaging 10 points, five rebounds and nearly two blocks a game this season.
“As soon as I saw my name on the draft board I was like alright, this is exciting, but they kind of brought me back down to the Earth. They kept me level-headed with the whole decision. With the position I was in, it’s kind of hard to pass up being possibly top 10. We’ll see how everything goes at the (NBA) combine,” Hayes said.
Hayes comes from an athletic family. His dad was a long-time NFL player and it wasn’t about leaving to get the money, but being a projected high lottery pick after not even being projected when the season started was the reason.
“One of the first things my parents said is money’s not the issue,my dad told me he’s not going to be better off if I go or stay, it’s my money. My parents let me decide, they helped guide me, gave me good reasons and showed me everything, but it was my decision. One year in college is helpful, if I tried to leave from high school I wouldn’t have been close to being drafted, for sure,” Hayes said.