Kalamazoo Central alumnus to enter name for 2020 NBA draft

Michigan forward Isaiah Livers (2) dunks during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Houston Baptist in Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. Michigan won 111-68. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

University of Michigan men's basketball junior forward Isaiah Livers, a Kalamazoo Central alumnus, announced Monday that he will apply for early entry into the 2020 NBA draft.

Livers said he intended to sign with an agent, who would work the university's coaching staff to help him through the evaluation and pre-draft processes.

"Following the cancellation of the season, my family and our coaching staff have had several discussions on my future as a basketball player," Livers said. "After much reflection and prayer, I have decided to enter my name into the 2020 NBA Draft and start the full evaluation process. The University of Michigan has done so much for me and helped me get to a position where I might be able to reach my goal of playing professional basketball. While this is only the start of the evaluation, I have appreciated your encouragement and will continue to need it as this process moves on."

College basketball players can retain the services of an agent during the evaluation process under current NCAA rules. If players choose to return to school, they are required to end the relationship with the agent, and they will not lose eligibility for the draft. Players can also return to school after going undrafted without losing eligibility, but only if they have participated in the NBA Draft Combine, a multi-day player showcase.

Before the 2019-2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, Livers led university's team with 12.9 points per game, and had 14 double-figure scoring games. In three of those, he scored 20 points or more.

Livers averaged career bests in rebounds (4.0), assists (1.1) and made 44 of his 46 free throws for the season.

Livers started 46 of his 96 career games in his three seasons in Ann Arbor, and had an 82-27 record. He was part of the university's second straight Big Ten Tournament title in 2018, as well as two straight Sweet 16 appearances in the 2018-2019 NCAA Tournament. The university also advanced to its second Final Four and national title game in six years in 2018.

Juwan Howard, head coach of the university's David and Meredith Kaplan Men's Basketball, said, "We know Isaiah has had the desire to reach the next level of playing professional basketball, and going through the NBA Draft process will give him the information he is looking for to make the proper decision. Even with everything going on with COVID-19, myself, and our staff, will continue to work closely with Isaiah and his family to gain as much information as possible in the weeks ahead before he reaches his final decision."

Livers was the 2017 Michigan Mr. Basketball, and continued to work toward a general studies degree.

It has not been determined if Livers will earn an invitation to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, scheduled for Thursday, May 21 to Sunday, May 24 in Chicago. The 2020 NBA Draft is expected to take place Thursday, June 25 in Brooklyn, New York.