North Carolina junior forward Justin Jackson declared for the NBA draft on Thursday and plans to sign with an agent.
Jackson helped lead the Tar Heels to the national title while likely improving his draft stock in the process. The 6-foot-8 Jackson, who was named the ACC Player of the Year, averaged a team-leading 18.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while setting the school's single-season record for 3-pointers with 105.
"My family and I discussed my decision with Coach (Roy) Williams and we agree that declaring for the NBA draft is best for my career," Jackson said in a statement.
"I wouldn't trade anything (from) the last three years as a Tar Heel, especially getting the chance to win a national championship, which was unbelievable. I feel I made a good decision last year to come back for my junior year. That has put me in a much better position as a basketball player and a person. I'm proud to know I will always be a Tar Heel."
Jackson scored 16 points as North Carolina posted a 71-65 victory over Gonzaga in the national championship game.
"We're excited for Justin and proud of the way he conducted himself each day in leading our team to a national championship," Williams said. "Justin explored his draft options after his sophomore season but understood it was in his best interest to play another season of college basketball, and what a year it was for him and our team.
"He did what our coaches and the NBA people advised him to do -- get stronger and work on making more shots. He responded by investing a tremendous amount of his time in the offseason and came back to school a bigger, better and more confident player."