HCC's Brumbaugh to enter NBA Draft
Keith Brumbaugh, the former high school standout who averaged 35.4 points per game at Hillsborough Community College this season, will bypass major college basketball and apply for early entry in the NBA Draft, HCC coach Derrick Worrels said Thursday.
"He's going to declare for the draft," Worrels said of the 6-foot-10 guard/forward. "I think his heart is set on being a provider for his family."
Worrels said Brumbaugh had asked him to research where he might be drafted if he declared, and Worrels said he has been told Brumbaugh projects as a mid-second-round pick. Second-round picks do not have guaranteed contracts, but Brumbaugh will have a chance to improve his position in the next month.
Brumbaugh, who led all junior college basketball in scoring and also averaged 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 4.8 steals per game, had been working to earn his associate of arts degree so he could sign with a major college. He had South Florida, Connecticut and Charlotte among his suitors, and Worrels said he continues to get "a ton of calls," including Southern Cal on Wednesday. Since HCC's season ended, however, he has focused on the potential for going straight to the NBA, something he considered after his senior year at DeLand High School.
"He's been extremely pre-occupied with thoughts of the NBA," Worrels said. "He wasn't far off as far as the grades he needed to play somewhere next season, but if the classroom isn't a priority to him, this is the best thing for him."
Brumbaugh, who was Florida's Mr. Basketball in 2005, has seen his career derailed in the past by a series of arrests, one of which led to his dismissal from Oklahoma State's basketball program. He has tried to turn his career around at HCC, and the Times profiled him in a feature in December. Brumbaugh could not be reached for comment Thursday. The NBA Draft will be June 26.
If selected, Brumbaugh would be the first player drafted directly from junior college since 2004, when the Atlanta Hawks used a second-round pick on guard Donta Smith of Southeastern Illinois College. Smith, who had signed with Louisville before opting for the draft, played sparingly in two seasons with the Hawks, averaging 2.7 points per game, and is now playing professionally in Bulgaria.