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Jaron Blossomgame deliberates NBA career

Allen Randall, staff

After a masterful 2015-16 season, Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame is considering taking his game to the next level. The redshirt junior is entering his name into the 2016 NBA Draft, but he will consider a possible rescission and return to the Tigers before the May 25 deadline. Despite a low-performing season for the Tigers, Blossomgame was clearly the stand-out player, with consistent high stats and leadership skills.

Upon announcing his draft declaration, Blossomgame told the media, “If the feedback [from the NBA] is not positive, then I will return to school for my senior season.” Of course, there is a chance that Blossomgame will find that his draft stock is too low for his liking when receiving reports from NBA scouts., Based on his performance this season, however, Blossomgame appears ready to play professionally.

On top of being named to the All-ACC First Team at the end of the regular season, Blossomgame was also named the Most Improved Player of the conference, and has come a long way throughout his Clemson career to arrive at this point. Suffering a severe leg injury prior to the beginning of his freshman season, Blossomgame was forced to redshirt and endure a grueling recovery process before taking to the court again.

Now, a mere three years later, Blossomgame is coming off of one of the most impressive seasons that a Tiger has ever produced. He’s accredited with practically single-handedly winning the bulk of Clemson’s (albeit few) victories in the latter half of conference play. Speaking on Blossomgame’s decision to test the NBA waters, Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell said, “He had a terrific season for us, and we’re proud of how hard he has worked to put himself in this position.”

Brownell assuredly hopes that Blossomgame decides to return for his senior season, as the Tigers should be able to compete for the ACC title in 2016-17 if he is on the roster. Blossomgame was the undisputed catalyst for this year’s Tigers, sparking a remarkable January turnaround after a woeful December. His scoring continuously improved throughout the season, and his playmaking ability became impeccable, all in spite of continued losses.

Blossomgame has steadily improved every season since injuring his leg and seems like a surefire future NBA success story. It is unfortunate that the young man has never gotten the chance to play in the NCAA Tournament as a Tiger. Considering Clemson will have a good chance of reaching the Big Dance next season, he could return to school for just that reason. Regardless of his decision, Blossomgame has been an outstanding Tiger in every way, and, because of that, his contributions to the Clemson program should never

be forgotten.

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