Nembhard to enter NBA draft, has option to return

Florida guard Andrew Nembhard drives to the basket as LSU guard Skylar Mays defends in the second half of the Feb. 20 game in Baton Rouge, La. Florida won 82-77. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

After starting every game last season for Florida, freshman point guard Andrew Nembhard is testing the NBA waters.

The Aurora, Ontario, native announced his intention to enter the NBA draft Friday, just nine days from the deadline for early entrants, but will retain his eligibility and the option to return to Florida in 2019 by not hiring an agent.

“Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine and I know I have a unique opportunity to fulfill this dream,” Nembhard said in a statement. “I plan to take this process seriously and ultimately evaluate what is best for me, my family and my long term goals as a basketball player.”

Nembhard finished his inaugural season at UF with 196 assists, good for the fourth-highest single-season total in Florida history, in addition to averaging 8.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

Nembhard’s decision to forego his sophomore campaign seemingly comes as a surprise after UF coach Mike White indicated the 6-foot-5 guard would return to Gainesville for another go-round.

“I do think in our postseason meetings, a couple guys really stepped up. Andrew (Nembhard) and Noah Locke, they approached me with it before it even came out of my mouth about how eager and willing they are to step up for this program and for their teammates from a leadership standpoint, so that’s exciting,” White said March 28.

The NCAA deadline for Nembhard to withdraw from the NBA draft is May 29.


  1. I think that Nembhard played well for a freshman, better than most freshman in their first year, but up to the standard of most “one and done’s”…nope. A few outstanding games does not make for NBA material, just ask Donnell Harvey.

  2. I would think he will come back so I do not understand the meltdown at this point for Gator fans. The feedback will help him (and us) and I think he will really benefit from playing with the incoming freshmen and his sophomore counterparts.

  3. There is no way Nembs is an NBA player now. He is not even a D-League player, and making it in the european league is doubtful. Who is putting this in his head? I played college basketball and coached for 30 years. I watched Nembs all season. He has a tremendous Up-side in that he has the tools to become a top NBA draft pick if he decides to work at becoming one. (I do not know his mental capacity to learn the the intricate parts of the game, but I assume because he’s at Florida, he’s pretty smart.) He has NO consistent 3-point shot. He needs to improve his dribble-drive-shoot-pass movement. He needs to understand that a point guard must understand and do what needs to be done to defeat the other team’s defense. Nothing wrong with pursuing your dreams. It’s just that Nembs is not ready for the dream to succeed. I live across the street from IMG in Bradenton and know several of their scouts. Their response to Nembs: “IT’S A GOOD THING HE CAN PULL HIS NAME OUT OF THE DRAFT” because he will NOT be drafted. Check back in 2-3 years to see if he’s ready.

    • No ill will towards my man either, but Nembhard is not an NBA…completely agree. “Perhaps” the style of play impored by White to overcome lack of size, etc. did not showcase his game, but I think he needs to come back. His size is certainly a plus, and like you say, MAYBE his upside is what is being looked at by whoever is in his ear, but I just don’t see it.

  4. Kind of a head scratcher. I guess he is just wanting the feedback? But it sure is a signal that he is not planning to stay. I think Mike White can see it clear as day, develop that next PG cause Nembhard will be gone after next year.

  5. With it such a late decision, it just sounds as if he wants to see where he rates among NBA execs and coaches, and even find out what they’re looking for in him. Fully expected see him on the O’Connell Center floor nect year.

  6. The worst decision I have heard in a long time. He is not ready. Not even close. Why are all these players wanting to try and go to the pros when they are not ready. Stay a few years son and learn how to really play the game. Maybe you can develop a shot while you are at it.

  7. too early to know for sure Jaws but I tend to agree with you. That was my first thought…… that he was not happy with the coaching…..especially the first 2/3rd s of the year.
    We will see…………if he chooses to leave for something other than being drafted (and he has no shot) then it is clearly about his relationship with White or his coaching. We will know at the end of May or……….I think…….since I am not sure about the rules…….after the draft.

  8. If football lost all it’s starters and 80% of the backups transferred out, the coach would get axed. Pretty clear. The White is entering his fifth season, this is laughable. The current recruiting class isn’t so good that they can make us competitive in the SEC by themselves. We may have a hard time putting 5 scholarship players on the floor unless he puts the ball boys on scholarship the way this is going.