Junior guard Ty Jerome announced that he plans to enter the NBA draft and sign with an agent rather than return to Virginia for his final year of eligibility Monday morning. “The last three years at Virginia have been everything I could have dreamed of in a college experience,” Jerome wrote in an Instagram post that broke the news of his departure. “When Coach Bennett recruited me, he said he would never stop challenging me to improve, on and off the court — and he meant it. He did that every single day, and he made me a better basketball player and better man. I am eternally grateful to him and the entire coaching staff, and fans.” Jerome has been a standout for Virginia ever since arriving in Charlottesville in 2016, but this past season has been his most successful. Jerome averaged 13.6 points per game, had a 3.31 assist to turnover ratio and had a team-high 57 steals in the 2018-19 season. He played an integral role in getting Virginia to its first NCAA National Championship game in program history. Jerome stepped up in particular in the Final Four. He had 21 points, 6 assists and 9 rebounds in the semifinal game against Auburn, and 16 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds in the National Championship game against Texas Tech. Jerome was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team and was also a Second-Team All ACC selection. Over the course of his three years at Virginia, he’s posted 1,011 career points and been a part of 89 wins. “My dream has always been to play in the NBA,” Jerome wrote. “Therefore, after speaking with my family and coaches and giving it a lot of thought, I know it’s the right time to announce that I will be entering the NBA draft and signing with an agent. I will forever be a wahoo.” Jerome is the first player on the 2019 national championship team to declare for the draft. The NBA draft will take place Thursday, June 20th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.