PROVO — Is BYU sophomore Yoeli Childs' time with the Cougars coming to an end?
Well, maybe. But there’s a significant catch.
Childs declared for the NBA draft Tuesday, according to an announcement from the university. The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the news late Monday night, confirming a comment Childs made during the final weeks of the regular season.
But the 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward from Bingham High will not sign with an agent, maintaining his collegiate eligibility until at least May 30.
“There’s been some interest and I think mainly he wants to get feedback and be able to know what his strengths are and what he needs to work on,” Childs’ mother Kara told the Deseret News. “Hopefully he can get out there and start the process and go from there.”
By declaring for the draft, Childs will be eligible to be invited to workouts with NBA teams beginning April 24. The move takes advantage of a recent rule change in the NCAA that allows underclassmen the ability to receive feedback from league scouts, coaches and player personnel before effectively ending their college careers.
BYU star Elijah Bryant is also considering declaring for the draft, according to multiple reports. Bryant, 22, would be a senior at BYU in 2018-19 but could decide to leave early because he spent a year at prep school and sat out a season after transferring to BYU from Elon University in North Carolina.
It’s unlikely Bryant would hire an agent if he declares, according to one source in Provo. The 6-foot-5 guard from Gwinnett, Georgia, averaged 18.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.7 minutes per game as a junior at BYU.
A first-team all-West Coast Conference honoree, Childs averaged 17.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game while leading the Cougars to a 24-11 season and a third-place finish in the WCC. He shot 54.1 percent from the field and had 15 double-doubles.
Hawaii-bound in 2019
The Maui Jim Maui Invitational announced Tuesday that the Cougars have been selected to play in the 2019 tournament, joining Dayton, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA, Virginia Tech and Division II Chaminade, the host school.
The 36th edition of the annual tournament, which will be played Nov. 25-27 at Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, will be BYU’s fourth trip to the tournament. The Cougars also received an invitation in 1992, 2004 and 2014.