Kyle Guy has scrolled through the mock drafts, searching for another shot of motivation, searching for the name he knows is not there.
“I’ve seen I’m not really on much,” Guy said Jan. 5. “That’s a chip on my shoulder. I’ve been overlooked my entire life.”
The Virginia guard is set to challenge those doubters again.
On Tuesday, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Guy announced he would forgo his final year of college eligibility and declare for the 2019 NBA Draft.
“I set a goal with my brothers when we committed to UVa. Three years later, we accomplished that goal of winning a national championship,” Guy wrote in the Twitter post. “I also set a goal for myself to play in the NBA.
“I am diving in to this with two feet to achieve my dream but I will leave the option of coming back to school open.”
Per new NCAA rules stemming from the FBI college basketball scandal, Guy can sign with an NCAA-certified agent, receive feedback and still return to UVa. To return to the Cavaliers, Guy must withdraw his name from the draft by May 29.
“Kyle is taking advantage of the new NCAA rules to make the best decision for himself and his family,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “He has had a terrific collegiate career and has been a pleasure to coach. We will work closely with Kyle throughout the process and support whatever decision he makes.”
Guy joins fellow Virginia guards De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome in declaring for the draft. While Hunter and Jerome’s chances of returning to UVa are limited — both are projected first-round draft picks — Guy’s future is less certain.
If Guy has played his final game with the Cavaliers, he leaves behind a memorable legacy. A member of the All-ACC first team, Guy led the Cavaliers in scoring (15.4 points per game) and was third in rebounding (4.5 boards per game) this season.
He was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four last week, when he scored 15 points against Auburn — including six in the final nine seconds — and 24 points in the team’s NCAA Tournament championship game win over Texas Tech.
He became a fan favorite in his time at UVa, both for his blistering long-range shooting and his willingness to be open about his struggles with mental health.
After Virginia’s loss to No. 16-seed UMBC in the first round of last season’s national tournament, Guy leaned into the team’s embarrassment. He made a picture of himself from the game, bent over, hands on his knees, his Twitter profile picture.
Last week, he finally changed it to a photo from this year’s NCAA final. There he is, right hand pumped in the air, tongue out of his mouth, a national champion.
“To Wahoo nation, thank you so much for embracing us from day one,” Guy wrote. “Every last praise and all glory goes to God.”