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Grant Williams says goodbye to Tennessee

Williams officially signs off.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Florida Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Grant Williams officially exited the Tennessee basketball program over the weekend, opting to stay in the 2019 NBA Draft. The former three-star recruit turned back to back SEC player of the year took to Instagram to say farewell on Sunday night.

Time flies... To think when I walked onto Tennessee’s campus I was a 17 year old kid thinking he knew everything about the world. The time that I spent at the University of Tennessee was everything I could’ve asked for and more. I was challenged more than I had been my entire life, I was humbled, I was taught how to not only impact a culture but to also impact winning. I met a ton of amazing people and i’m thankful to everyone who believed in me. My Family, Coaches, Teammates, Friends, Classmates, Professors all made an impact on my life in one way or another and I thank you for it from the bottom of my heart. I’ve matured and become man enough to take the next step in my life and pursue my dream of becoming a professional NBA Basketball Player. I could go on and on about my time at the University and how many great experiences that I had but I wanted to keep it short and say Thank you Tennessee, I am a Vol for Life and I pray i’ll never be forgotten. Go Vols

#2 Out #VFL #GBO

Williams was Tennessee’s first consensus All-American since 1983 this season. He led the SEC in scoring last year, averaging over 18 points per game.

He finishes his Tennessee career 12th in scoring with 1,629 points.

Grant declared for the NBA Draft in early April, but kept the door open for a potential return based on the feedback that he was going to receive from teams. By all accounts, Williams crushed the interview process as teams were impressed with his maturity and leadership ability.

As a prospect, Williams will have to continue to prove that he can score and defend against length. His 6-7 frame is just about the only thing that could hold him back.

Tennessee has now lost Williams, along with starting center Kyle Alexander and reserve forward Derrick Walker. That’s quite a bit of production to replace in the frontcourt. The Vols have added four-star power forward Olivier Robinson-Nkamhoua, along with 7-1 transfer Uros Plavsic, who Tennessee will need to secure a waiver for so he can play immediately.

Next up for Williams is the NBA Draft on June 20th. Next for Tennessee is the decision of point guard Jordan Bone, who has until May 29th to decide if he’s staying in the draft or coming back to Knoxville for his senior season.