Alabama basketball guard Jaden Shackelford declares for 2022 NBA Draft

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama basketball's leading scorer the past two seasons has declared for the 2022 NBA Draft. 

Jaden Shackelford posted the news on social media Sunday, saying he intends to sign with an agent. 

"Hard work and a constant obsession to get better has gotten me where I am today," Shackelford wrote. "This is just the beginning of my journey and I am beyond blessed to be able to pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA." 

Shackelford, a four-star recruit out of Hesperia High School in California, was named to the All-SEC second team for the second consecutive year during 2021-22. 

During his junior season, Shackelford averaged 16.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 34.1 minutes per game. 

The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 23 and the NCAA early entry withdrawal deadline is June 1, but it's unlikely that Shackelford changes course and returns to college basketball. 

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Shackelford's departure is the latest roster change Alabama has experienced. Three reserves have entered the transfer portal while seniors such as Keon Ellis and James Rojas are expected to move on after going through senior day. 

Starting point guard Jahvon Quinerly also went through senior day and initially posted on Instagram that the loss to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament was his last college basketball game, but he has since removed that part of his Instagram caption. He tore his ACL, which leads to some uncertainty with his future. 

More movement could still happen with freshman guard JD Davison also potentially going pro. Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said this past week that his gut feeling is that Davison will declare for the draft. 

Meanwhile, Alabama is adding five freshman in its 2022 class, ranked No. 3 in the country behind Duke and Arkansas, according to the 247Sports Composite. The class is the Crimson Tide's first with two five-star signees. 

Jaden Bradley and Brandon Miller are both McDonald's All-Americans and headline a group that should be a catalyst for Alabama after a discouraging end to the season with four consecutive losses. 

Alabama will look to return to the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive year under Oats in 2022-23. 

Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly.