Beekman withdraws from NBA Draft, returns to Virginia

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo by Jon Golden

Reece Beekman is coming back to Virginia (enter your favorite chorus of “Hallelujuh” here).

Beekman waited until the 11th hour to withdraw his name from the 2023 NBA Draft and return to Tony Bennett’s program for a senior year. Cavalier fans had been holding their collective breath in hopes that the ACC Defensive Player of the Year would stay in school.

“I’ve decided to go back to UVA to work towards being a first-round draft pick next year and finish my degree,” Beekman told ESPN, setting off a huge celebration throughout Wahoo Nation.

Most of the mock NBA drafts didn’t have the point guard going in the second round, although the latest ESPN rankings rated him No. 43 overall. Second-round picks are not guaranteed any money.

Beekman played well in the NBA Combine and worked out for some teams, gaining expert feedback on whether he should stay in the draft or return to school.

The 21-year-old guard’s return is a massive boost for Bennett’s team, which will now have Beekman and Georgetown transfer Dante Harris running the team, which includes numerous new faces.

Beekman grew as a playmaker last season, not only creating for himself, but for teammates as he averaged more than five assists per game for a second-consecutive season, in addition to upping his scoring average to nearly 10 points per game. He is also arguably the nation’s top defensive player and provides not only experience but leadership.