Cartersville native Ashton Hagans, a two-year starter for the University of Kentucky basketball team, is declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft per an announcement made Sunday. One of the nation’s top perimeter defenders, Hagans called the opportunity to enter the draft a “lifelong dream.”
Hagans, a 6-foot-3 guard started 29 games for the Wildcats as a sophomore and was averaging 11.5 points per game when the season was halted amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. He was one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year with 1.9 steals per game. As a freshman, he was SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He was also averaging 6.4 assists during the 2019-20 season. Kentucky head coach John Calipari noted on Twitter Sunday that he supports Hagans’ decision. “@H23Ash (Hagans) is ready for this. From where he was when he got here two seasons ago to where he is now isn't even close. He's a completely different player and he's built his skills and his confidence to take that next step.” Sunday’s statement by Ashton Hagans on Twitter:
Hagans, who will turn 21 in July, is the son of Marvin Hagans and Monica Wheeler. He is a cousin of former NFL runningback and fellow Cartersville native Ronnie Brown.
Hagans played his high school basketball at Newton High School in Covington, Georgia. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.6 assists, and 3.6 steals in high school where he was rated a five-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN.