Vols star Jaden Springer headed to NBA

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Tennessee’s Jaden Springer plays against Alabama during the NCAA college basketball Southeastern Conference Tournament Saturday, March 13, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee guard Jaden Springer says he’s signing with an agent and declaring for the 2021 NBA draft after his freshman season.

Springer announced his decision Monday with a social media post.

He thanked Tennessee coach Rick Barnes, staff and fans for the privilege of playing this season. Springer said it was an honor to represent the Volunteers even though the season didn’t end the way they wanted.

Tennessee went 18-9 and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Oregon State.

“Although I was only here for a short time, you welcomed me and made me feel at home,” Springer wrote. “While I am excited to pursue my NBA dream, please know that Rocky Top will always be home sweet home to me.”

The 6-foot-4, 204-pound Springer led the Vols in scoring averaging 12.5 points a game. He also led Tennessee shooting 43.5% from 3-point range, making 20 of 46, and with 81 free throws made. He ranked ninth in the Southeastern Conference shooting 81.0% at the line.

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