Utah State center Neemias Queta entering NBA draft


Utah State center Neemias Queta will forgo his senior season to enter the 2021 NBA draft.

“I’m declaring for the draft because I feel ready to take my game to the next level and fulfilling a lifelong dream of being an NBA player,” Queta told ESPN.

The 7-foot, 245-pound Queta averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2 assists in his junior season, making 56% of his field goal attempts. He was named Mountain West conference player of the year and defensive player of the year, and is one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

Queta, who measured a 7-foot-4 wingspan and 9-foot-3 standing reach at the NBA draft combine in 2019, is intriguing to NBA teams due to his combination of size, length and basketball IQ. He significantly improved his passing ability and understanding of the game in his three years at Utah State. He is the 76th-ranked prospect in ESPN’s draft prospect rankings.

Queta, who hails from Portugal, helped Utah State win the Mountain West conference tournaments in 2019 and 2020. The Aggies received an at-large bid to the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

The NBA has yet to announce when the 2021 draft will be held, and significant uncertainty exists about what the pre-draft process will look like in terms of private workouts or a combine. Neither the NBA nor the NCAA has announced a deadline to enter or withdraw from the draft, but Queta’s college career is over, as he will be hiring an agent and beginning his professional career.

“I really want to show my all-around game as more than a rim runner and prove what my potential can be,” he said.



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