Anfernee Simons declares for NBA draft, forgoing collegiate eligibility

Can Anfernee Simons be successful in the NBA? (1:03)

Seth Greenberg says teams will have to be "patient" with the NBA prospect Anfernee Simons. (1:03)

Anfernee Simons will forgo his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, he informed ESPN.

"After discussing the matter with my parents, I have decided to forgo the opportunity to play in the NCAA and to instead enter the NBA draft," Simons said. "I am very thankful for the support I received at IMG Academy and from the NCAA coaches who recruited me. I am ready and excited to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA."

Simons, a top-10 high school recruit according to the ESPN 100, is eligible for the 2018 draft as a postgraduate, being one year removed from his high school graduation and turning 19 in June, thus satisfying NBA requirements. He spent his fifth year of high school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and was recently named to the prestigious Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic events.

Simons originally planned on testing the NBA draft waters while leaving open the option of playing college basketball, but he elected to push forward based on feedback he had received. He has been heavily scouted all season at high school events by representatives of all 30 NBA teams, according to his coaching staff at IMG.

Simons is currently ranked 19th in ESPN's latest 2018 NBA mock draft. While physically underdeveloped and likely a ways away from contributing at the NBA level, he's considered one of the most athletic guard prospects in the class. He has significant scoring potential due to his terrific shooting range, particularly off the dribble. NBA scouts who have watched Simons play told ESPN they view him as a mid-to-late first-round prospect, with the potential to move up with strong showings at the Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic and in private workouts.

Simons informed ESPN that he will sign with agent Bobby Petriella of Rosenhaus Sports Representation, a new entry in the basketball agency world, founded by prominent NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Simons will spend the pre-draft process in Miami, working out with trainer Justin Zormelo.

Simons, who was once committed to Louisville, was being heavily recruited by Tennessee, NC State, Florida, South Carolina and others before electing to change paths.