Texas forward Jaxson Hayes has declared for the 2019 NBA draft, according to a school release. The 6'11", 220-pound big man averaged 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 72.8% from the field during his freshman campaign.
"I would like to thank my family, the entire Texas coaching staff and my teammates for helping me get to this point in my career," Hayes said in a statement. "I'm so appreciative of Coach Shaka Smart for pushing me every day to improve and mature, both on the basketball court and as a person. I would also like to thank everyone else who has helped support me. Lastly, thank you to all the Longhorn fans and the people of Cincinnati who have been there cheering me on the whole way."
Hayes started 21 games for the Longhorns during the 2018-19 season through 32 games played. He dropped a career-high 19 points to go with seven boards, two steals and a block in Texas's 69–56 loss to TCU–the team's second to last game of the season.
"I'm really proud of Jaxson for the tremendous attitude he's demonstrated all year and the unprecedented growth that he's made," Smart said in a statement. "He'll always be a part of our Longhorn Basketball family, and we look forward to supporting him in the next steps of his journey."
Hayes suffered a left knee injury during the Longhorns' Big 12 tournament quarterfinals game against Kansas with less than two minutes remaining in the 65–57 loss.
Hayes was the Big 12’s freshman of the year and is projected to go as one of the top picks in the 2019 NBA draft this summer.