EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Former Burges High School basketball star Tristen Newton will enter the NBA Draft while maintaining his collegiate eligibility, he announced on Wednesday.

Newton made the announcement on his social media pages a little more than two weeks after leading UConn to the program’s fifth national championship. Newton had a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds in the title game win over San Diego State.

By declaring for the Draft but maintaining his collegiate eligibility, Newton will be able to go through the pre-Draft process, without having to commit to turning pro. If he doesn’t like the feedback he receives from teams around the league, he can still return to UConn for his final season of eligibility in 2023-24.

Newton had a strong year for UConn in 2022-23, after transferring to Storrs from East Carolina in the spring of 2022. He averaged 10.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists as the Huskies’ starting point guard for much of the season.

He starred at East Carolina for three years before that, after he was scarcely recruited in high school. Newton averaged almost 40 points per game as a senior at Burges in 2018-19 and scored well over 3,000 points in his high school career.

The brother of former Evansville/Southern Illinois basketball player Jawaun Newton and the cousin of Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones and former UTEP linebacker Alvin Jones, Tristen is hoping to follow in his family’s footsteps and make it to the highest level of his chosen sport.

If Newton does choose to withdraw from the NBA Draft, he has until June 12, 2023. The 2023 NBA Draft will be held June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.