Hakim Hart declares for NBA Draft, entering transfer portal

Maryland forward Hakim Hart has announced his plans, very likely ending his time in College Park.

Hart announced that he will enter the 2023 NBA Draft while maintaining his eligibility and entering the transfer portal.

“First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to play basketball at the University of Maryland these last four years. To my family, who has supported me throughout this journey, thank you for the sacrifices you have made to help me pursue my dream. To my coaches, teammates, and the entire University of Maryland community, thank you for providing me with the resources, guidance, and support to reach this point in my career. With that being said, I am excited to announce that I will be pursuing my lifelong dream and declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility and also entering my name in the transfer portal to assure I make the best decision for my family,” Hart wrote on Instagram.

Hart was one of a handful of veterans who anchored the culture shift under year one of Kevin Willard, but the Philly product also closed out his career at Maryland on a high note. Finishing as the third-leading scorer this season, Hart averaged a career-best 11.5 points while averaging 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game during the regular season. Finishing just 38 points away from 1,000 as a Terp, Hart finished with four 20-point games highlighted by a 23-point performance in the win at home over Penn State. Hart’s 77 assists and 35 steals during the regular season ranked second on the team as the Philly native was a key piece in the Terps allowing their lowest opponent scoring average in 40 years. After dropping 15 points in the win vs. West Virginia, Hart finished with just three points in the season-ending loss to Alabama.

As Jahmir Young adjusted to the pace of Big Ten play, it was Hart who Maryland could routinely turn to lift the offense back up. “[Hart’s] gotten very comfortable in the offense and very comfortable with what we’re asking him to do,” Willard said. “That’s really helped him.” The soft-spoken senior also drew praise from his teammates as he helped Maryland finish 16-1 at home. “[Hart’s] one of the best guys we got on ball-screen action,” Julian Reese said. “He just makes smart plays a lot [and] doesn’t really turn the ball over.”

Hart was one of three seniors that Maryland fans were awaiting news on with Jahmir Young and Donta Scott still left to make their decisions. Following Ike Cornish’s transfer this week, Maryland has two vacant scholarships for the 2023-24 season.

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