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Isaiah Wong Offers Insight on Decision to Declare for NBA Draft



Photo Credit: Miami Athletics

After foregoing his remaining year of eligibility and declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft on Monday, Isaiah Wong spoke to the media on Tuesday to explain his reasoning.

This was not an easy decision, according to Wong, who ends his college career ranked fifth on Miami’s all-time scoring list.

“I feel like it was a very difficult decision for me, and I feel like for the Miami fans, it was a tough decision of coming back or going to the NBA,” Wong said. “But I feel like for me, I gotta follow my dreams and go the NBA. At the end of the day, the NBA is the main dream. I feel like I made … Miami history and I feel like I’m good where I’m at with Miami fans and all that, but I just feel like I gotta chase more.”

The 2022-23 ACC Player of the Year added, “I talked to my family, I talked to the people around me and they thought that the best decision for me was to go the NBA and chase my dreams.”

Wong signed with Bill Duffy of WME Sports ahead of the NBA Draft, which takes place on June 22. The 6-foot-4 guard declared for the draft while maintaining his eligibility in 2021 and 2022, and he says that this prior experience makes the pre-draft process easier for him.

“I feel like it makes it a lot easier. Just not the stress of me thinking about if I’m going to come back or not and just fully focusing on one thing and my one thing is just making it to the NBA Draft, making it to a team and getting a comfortable position,” Wong said.

Wong is one of the most proven scorers in this year’s draft class, but there’s no guarantee he will get drafted. ESPN has Wong as the No. 70 overall prospect on its latest pre-draft big board, which if correlated to the draft itself, would place him outside of the 60 players who are selected. 

Still, Wong thinks he has a lot to offer NBA teams, especially on the offensive end.

“I’m a 22-year-old kid coming into the NBA, so I feel like I got a lot of experience with college preparing me … I’m a playmaker and I can get people involved and I can score at three levels. I feel like I play hard with the best of them,” Wong said. “So I feel like just coming in, playing my role and just having the better understanding of the game and just trying to help a team win as much as possible.”

In his four seasons at Miami, Wong established himself as one of the greatest players in program history, as head coach Jim Larrañaga said on Tuesday. The guard was a catalyst of UM’s recent success, which, along with his individual growth, is one of Wong’s proudest collegiate accomplishments as he now looks to create a professional legacy for himself.

““From my freshman to senior year, I feel like I did a lot of things. Coming into my freshman [year], I struggled a little bit and I feel like I went through everything … with the school … and what I went through as a player. I feel like I’ve been through everything, the struggles, the pain and the mental toughness. I feel like from what I’ve been through it’s just been a process,” Wong said.

“From freshman [year], we didn’t win a lot, to now we’re winning a lot more games … It’s just a great story.”



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