Valley News -

By Jeff Pack

Simon announces intention to enter 2019 NBA Draft


Last updated 4/10/2019 at 12:02pm

St. John's University

Former Temecula Valley High School standout Justin Simon announced Tuesday that he will declare for the 2019 NBA Draft.

NEW YORK - Former Temecula Valley High School standout Justin Simon announced Tuesday, April 9 that he will leave St. John's University and declare for the 2019 NBA Draft.

"All I needed was an opportunity and St. John's gave me that," Simon said in an Instagram post. "So thankful and truly blessed to be apart of such a historic program with unbelievable fans! I'd like to thank the staff and all my teammates here at SJU that have believed and helped me be the player I am today and moving forward! St John's will always have a special place in my heart! Thanks again redstorm nation you guys sparked me with energy and emotion to give it my all every night!

"That being said, I will declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. Thank you to all of those that have and will support me through this journey!"

Simon's announcement came on the same day the school announced that head coach Chris Mullin would step down.

Simon, a redshirt junior is regarded as one of college basketball's best lockdown defenders and was named the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year this past season. Simon ranked third on the team and seventh in the league with 1.4 steals per game after leading the league last season with 2.48 steals per game.

During the 2018-2019 season, that saw the Red Storm reach the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament before losing to Marquette. The team was bounced from the NCAA tournament after a loss to Arizona State in the first round.

Simon averaged 10.4 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, and had 108 assists this season with the Red Storm.

During his junior year at Temecula Valley in 2014, Simon led the Golden Bears to the best season in school history, the most wins in school history, an undefeated league season and championship and took the Bears to the CIF-Southern Section divisional semifinal.

That year he averaged 17.5 points and was named MVP of the Southwestern League and made the all-CIF First Team.

After the summer of his junior year, Simon announced he would be transferring to Wolfeboro Brewster Academy in New Hampshire for his senior season.

At the start of the season at Brewster, Simon committed to play for the University of Arizona. But after just one season, Simon transferred to St. John's to play for NBA Hall of Famer and St. John's alumnus Chris Mullin.

He considered Oklahoma State, Providence, New Mexico, and Pacific, but ultimately chose the Johnnies.

Jeff Pack can be reached at [email protected]


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