Men’s basketball’s Malachi Smith enters name in 2022 NBA Draft

CHATTANOOGA — Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball star point guard Malachi Smith will enter his name in the 2022 NBA Draft and waive his remaining eligibility after announcing his intentions on Tuesday.

Smith is testing the waters of the NBA Draft for the second straight season after going through the scouts training and feedback process last year. He will leave Chattanooga as one of the most accomplished players in the program’s storied history.

“Chatanooga Nation, I will always love and appreciate you forever. You welcomed me with open arms the moment I walked onto campus,” Smith said in a thank you video posted to Twitter. (SEE HERE)

“We have built a great tradition here and I hope everyone who passes can do the same. I will always bleed blue and gold.”

After going through the initial journey, Smith decided to return to UTC ahead of the 2021-22 season and would complete one of the most historic scoring seasons in program history. He helped lead Chattanooga to a 27-8 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Smith, Southern Conference and MOP Tournament Player of the Year, led the league in scoring with an average of 19.9 points per game while being the only NCAA DI basketball player with at least 600 points, 200 rebounds, 50 assists, 50 steals and 50 made 3PT FG.

Additionally, Smith was just one of eight DI players with 50% FG, 40% 3PT, and 80% FT at the end of the regular season and conference tournaments. His total of 696 points that season was the second-highest in program history (DI era) and ended his UTC career with 1,115 points in just two seasons.

Smith was named the Lou Henson National Player of the Year, which is awarded annually to the top middle-major player in NCAA Division I basketball. He is the second Southern Conference player to win the award (Fletcher Magee, Wofford, 2019) since its inaugural crowning in 2010.

The NBA Draft Combine will begin on May 16 and run until May 22 while the NBA Draft Lottery will take place on May 17. The 2022 NBA Draft presented by State Farm will begin in Chicago, Illinois on June 23.

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