Yale's Makai Mason Declares for NBA Draft

Published by David Freed on March 25, 2016 at 7:22AM
Makai-ing Moves

Yale sophomore point guard Makai Mason, shown above being defended by Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers in the 2015 Ivy League playoff, has declared for the NBA Draft.

{image id=1314164 size=full caption=true align=center}

Monday, Yale sophomore point guard Makai Mason shook the Ivy League by declaring for the NBA draft. Seniors declaring for the NBA draft is rare enough in the Ancient Eight; Mason’s decision, even coming on the heels of a 31-point outburst against fifth-seeded Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, is nearly unprecedented.

In the original Sports Illustrated report, Mason’s father clarified that his son is taking advantage of a new NCAA rule that extended the deadline for entering the draft from mid-April to May 25. The rule change, which went into effect in January, allows players to participate in the NBA combine (held May 11-15) and have private workouts with teams without jeopardizing their remaining college eligibility.

“We want to take advantage of the new rule, show people beyond the Ivy League what he’s capable of,” Mason’s father, Dan, told SI.

The new rule has already prompted changes across college basketball. Wednesday, Kentucky head coach John Calipari said that every member of his team was going to declare for the draft.

“It’s a true win-win for the student-athlete,” Calipari Tweeted late Wednesday afternoon.

Harvard has had players declare for the draft in consecutive years, with both Kyle Casey’13-’14 and Wesley Saunders ’15 putting their names in their senior seasons. While neither was drafted, both got summer camp invites (from the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, respectively). Saunders currently plays for the Austin Spurs and Casey plays for the Bakersfield Jam in the NBA D-League.

—Staff Writer David Freed can be reached at david.freed@thecrimson.com.