East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State men’s basketball sophomore forward Nick Ward has elected to return for his junior year and will be withdrawing his name from consideration for the 2018 NBA Draft.
“It was a great opportunity for me to go through the process and I’m grateful for the feedback I received from NBA teams,” Ward said. “It is my dream to play in the NBA and I’ve learned a lot through my workouts and interviews that will help me when I am ready to make that next step. I know what I need to work on and I’m committed to coming to the gym every day and striving to be the best player I can be. I’m really excited to return to Michigan State, to be in front of our fans at the Breslin Center and to be back with my teammates and coaches as we work to reach our team goals.”
Ward submitted his name into the NBA Draft on March 28 and went through workouts with several teams over the last month.
"I’m glad that Nick had the opportunity to go through the process and was able to receive feedback from NBA teams,” MSU Head Coach Tom Izzo said. “It was a great opportunity for him to explore his draft stock and to see what he needs to work on in order to play at the highest level. After talking to several different teams there were many positives from both his workouts and his interviews, but each team gave him some suggestions for things to work on this summer as he strives to reach his full potential. We’re very excited to have Nick back and look forward to him helping to lead our team in the successful ways he has since coming to Michigan State. Nick has been a valuable member of our program and I think this experience will not only be helpful to him, but others on our team striving to reach the same dreams and goals.”
Ward was an All-Big Ten Third Team selection by the media and an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the league’s coaches. He started 34 of 35 games last season, finishing third on the team in scoring with 12.4 points per game and led the team with 7.1 rebounds, which ranked eighth in the Big Ten Conference. Ward connected on 64.8 percent of his field goals, which ranked second in the Big Ten.