They say UConn’s Tristen Newton is a true champion, even after the Huskies won the last NCAA Tournament, he’s still working everyday to stay in shape. Just as he announced the world he was declaring for the upcoming NBA Draft in June, one of the first things he told the press was: “I’m going to the gym right now.”
As the young guard hopes to become a professional basketball player this year, he still decided to maintain his college eligibility as Newton’s still a senior in Connecticut.
Tristen Newton announces that he will declare for the NBA Draft while maintaining his eligibility pic.twitter.com/jd2r0m6Y9y
— Gavin Keefe (@GavinKeefe) April 19, 2023
Newton, who was the starting point guard for UConn’s 2023 NCAA championship team, is determined to impress NBA scouts over the next months, starting with the league’s combine to be held in mid-May.
“I was talking to my parents and coaches, they thought that this was best for me right now,” he assured.
The athlete has until May 31 to withdraw his application from the draft and make his return to his beloved college, just as his teammate Andre Jackson Jr. decided not too long ago. Even though Jackson might become a first or second-round pick, Newton might just want to test the draft waters as he’s still unlikely to be chosen on June 22.
“Pretty much what I need to work on: probably tightening up my ballhandling a little bit, being more trustworthy as a shooter, to be honest,” the players said as he’s well aware he must be self-critical to impress the league’s coaches and general managers.
That’s why he decided to maintain his college eligibility as he added it’s still “hard to say” if he’s to become a pro already, or if returning to the Huskies is the best way to go. “That’s always a good option,” he admitted.
Standing at six-foot-five, Newton averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 28.8 minutes over 39 contests this past campaign. Before defending the Huskies’ jersey, he averaged 17.7 points and five assists at ECU.
Even though he finally secured a starting role in UConn, he was rather inconsistent at times during the season and rotated as the squad’s playmaker with teammate guard Jackson.
Newton was vital in UConn men’s basketball’s 2023 NCAA championship team
Nevertheless, Newton was on fire when he was needed the most, as he dropped 19 points, won 10 rebounds and handed out four assists in the national title game against San Diego State.
From the free throw line he hit 8 for 8 and also provided great assistance in the team’s backcourt and defensive duties.
“He’s a champion forever,” Jackson said as they beat the Aztecs in the final. “When people look back at UConn history, when people remember that last game against San Diego State, they’re going to remember Tristen Newton.”
The young guard has a long list of people to thank before he takes his big next step. “First and foremost, I would like to thank God for everything,” Newton posted on social media. “It has been an experience like no other being able to bring a national championship back to Storrs and Husky Nation. I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for giving me the opportunity to represent UConn, and for pushing me to be the best player that I can be every day.
“I would like to thank my family for always having my back and showing me their continued love and support. After discussing with my family and support team, I have decided to pursue my lifelong goal and declare for the NBA Draft while maintaining my collegiate eligibility.”