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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Men's Basketball

Former UH men’s basketball guard Nate Hinton cracks top 60 in ESPN mock draft


Sophomore guard Nate Hinton in a game against Cincinnati during the 2019-20 season. He finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the win against the Bearcats. | Mikol Kindle Jr./The Cougar

Sophomore guard Nate Hinton in a game against Cincinnati during the 2019-20 season. He finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the win against the Bearcats. | Mikol Kindle Jr./The Cougar

In an updated NBA mock draft that was released by ESPN last Tuesday, the Houston men’s basketball team’s own Nate Hinton cracked the top 60 of projected draft picks in October.

The 6-foot-5-inch guard from Gastonia, North Carolina came in at No. 58 and the list has Hinton projected to be selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.

Hinton anchored the Cougars’ defense in the 2019-20 season, averaging a team high of 8.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals, along with ranking in the top five leaders in offensive and defensive rebounding in the American Athletic Conference during his sophomore season.

He has also earned a slew of conference honors from several American Honor Rolls as well as a spot on the All-American Athletic Conference Teams.

While the Philadelphia 76ers struggle in the postseason against the Boston Celtics, a change in their roster could be needed in the offseason.  Adding a fiery guard like Hinton, who’s motor is always on, would be a solid move for an organization seeking its identity.

Hinton declared for the draft while he maintained eligibility back in April, after the 2019-2020 campaign ended abruptly due to COVID-19.

“Nate had a good year and he wants to see exactly what they say about him, to see if there’s anybody that likes him well enough. and then he’ll go from there,” UH men’s basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson told The Cougar of Hinton’s original declaration.

In May, Hinton announced he was going to forgo his next two seasons of eligibility and leave UH.

“I had to come to peace that I’m going to turn pro and pursue my dreams,” Hinton told the Houston Chronicle.

Hinton is not the first to depart from Houston to play basketball at the next level under Sampson’s coaching.

If Hinton is officially drafted by an NBA team on Oct. 16, he will join former Houston player Damyean Dotson, who played for the Cougars from 2015-17 and was the No. 44 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

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