Editor's note: This story has been updated since its original publication.
What appeared to be a game-winning shot in the NCAA tournament turned out to be the last bucket of a three-year career in burnt orange.
Junior guard Isaiah Taylor has decided to hire an agent for the NBA draft, Texas athletics announced Thursday afternoon. The move rules out a possible return to Texas for Taylor’s senior season.
“I’ve been chasing my dream to play in the NBA my entire life,” Taylor said in a statement. “While I’m sad to be leaving my teammates and family behind at Texas, I am ready to start this next chapter of my career. Thank you to all the fans that have supported me these past three years. You have made me feel at home.”
Taylor’s final game in a Texas uniform came in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Northern Iowa. Taylor had 22 points and six assists and made a game-tying layup with 2.7 seconds left to play.
But Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson hit a half court game-winner to oust Taylor and the Longhorns from the tournament. It proved to be Taylor’s final game as a Longhorn.
Taylor initially declared for the draft on April 7, but a rule change made this year would have allowed him to return to Texas within 10 days after the NBA draft combine on May 11-15 if he didn’t hire an agent.
Taylor led the team with 15 points and five assists per game last season while dealing with plantar fasciitis for the late part of the season. He ranks 156th in ESPN’s draft prospects.
Taylor flirted with leaving for the NBA last year before eventually deciding to come back and play for head coach Shaka Smart.
Smart said he will still support Taylor as he starts his professional career.
“We are extremely grateful for the impact Isaiah has made during his time at Texas,” head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “I truly enjoyed coaching him this past season and will support him wholeheartedly as he moves into this next stage of his career.”
Taylor leaves Texas 20th in career points with 1,254 and seventh in assists with 415.
“These next two months are going to be intense, but I’m ready for it,” Taylor said. “Follow along with my journey as I prepare for this next step in my career. Thanks again to all the fans here in Austin.”