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Former Porter-Gaud star Aaron Nesmith declares for NBA draft

Nesmith (copy)

Former Porter-Gaud standout Aaron Nesmith has declared for the NBA draft after two seasons at Vanderbilt. File/Mark Humphrey/AP

Former Porter-Gaud basketball star Aaron Nesmith will turn pro and enter the 2020 NBA draft after two seasons at Vanderbilt, he announced Thursday.

Nesmith, a 6-6 forward, averaged 23 points through 14 games last season before a season-ending injury to his right foot, shooting 52.2 percent from 3-point range. He's considered a possible lottery pick in the draft.

Nesmith thanked God, his family and high school coaches John Pearson, Antoine Saunders and Travis Smith in his statement.

"I want to thank ... my family for the sacrifices they have made since I picked up a basketball," he said. "My high school coaches, who have always pushed me to be my best, and my entire Vanderbilt family for an invaluable two years in Nashville.

"To Coach (Jerry) Stackhouse, the coaching staff and trainers and my teammates who will always be my brothers — you have all helped me to grow as a player and as a man, and for that I will forever be grateful."

Nesmith said he intends to hire an agent.

"I am so grateful for what life has brought me so far and I cannot wait for this next step in my journey. Most importantly, with everything going on in the world right now, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this time."

At Porter-Gaud, Nesmith was named The Post and Courier's All-Lowcountry player of the year and the Gatorade state player of the year as a senior, and led the Cyclones to three straight SCISA state titles.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC

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