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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Houston Cougars' Nate Hinton Decides to enter his name in 2020 NBA Draft

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UPDATED: April 5, 2020 -- 10:09 p.m. CT

POSTED: April 5, 2020 -- 10:02 p.m. CT

This evening, Houston Cougars' sophomore guard Nate Hinton announced he has decided to enter his name in the 2020 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility.

"After much prayer and discussion with my family and coaches, I have decided to enter my name in the 2020 NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility. I am thankful to God for this phenomenal opportunity.

"I want to thank (Houston Cougars) Coach Kelvin Sampson, the entire coaching staff, my teammates, Coog Nation, and the great city of Houston for your love and support. Go Coogs!!!"

As long Hinton does not sign a contract with a professional team outside the NBA, or sign with an agent, he will retain college eligibility as long as he makes a timely withdrawal from the draft.

NCAA players have until 10 days after the end of the NBA Draft Combine to withdraw from the draft. This year, the NBA Draft Combine is scheduled for May 21 to 24.

Hinton may participate in the NBA Draft Combine; and, per rule, he is allowed to attend one tryout per year with each NBA team without losing college eligibility.

However, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not certain the NBA Draft Combine will take place this year.

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Players who are not automatically eligible have to declare their eligibility for the NBA Draft by notifying the NBA offices in writing no later than 60 days before the draft. For the 2020 draft, the date will fall on April 26. Currently, the 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place June 25.

After April 26, "early entry" players are able to attend NBA pre-draft camps and individual team workouts to show off their skills and obtain feedback regarding their draft positions. Under the CBA a player may withdraw his name from consideration from the draft at any time before the final declaration date, which is 10 days before the draft.

Hinton, 6'5", 210, shot 39.6% (97 for 245) from the floor including 37.5% (42 for 112) from three-point range.

Hinton finished third on the team with 10.6 points per game and led the Cougars and ranked fifth in the league with 8.7 rebounds per game.

Hinton led Houston and finished fourth in the league with eight double-doubles in 2019-20 and scored a career-high 25 points in a win over UT Arlington in the Fertitta Center in December. He was one of only four players to rank among the Top-5 leaders in both offensive and defensive rebounding and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in a win over UCF in Houston on January 3.

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