Butler junior guard Shelvin Mack took time this morning to officially announce his early exit from Butler.
Mack is the second-consecutive Butler men’s basketball player to enter the NBA Draft before graduation, but he said it’s always been his dream to play professionally and that this is the best time to pursue that dream.
“I was at home this past weekend, and my mom showed me something I wrote when I was a kid,” Mack said. ”It was a book with my goals, and I wrote that I wanted to play professional basketball, so now I’m just trying to accomplish that goal.”
Mack addressed the changes he foresees when shifting from being an amateur athlete to a professional one.
“It’s a business now,” Mack said. “But I’ll be ready. At Butler, it’s about what’s best for the team, and as a professional, it’s about what’s best for the franchise.”
Although leaving Butler, Mack won’t be ending his time as a student-athlete.
He is 23 hours short of graduating with his media arts degree but that he’ll continue to work toward his degree by taking one or two classes this summer.
Butler head coach Brad Stevens was next to Mack this morning at Hinkle Fieldhouse and was supportive of last season’s second-leading score. The head coach said it isn’t a bittersweet time.
“There’s not one negative thing about it,” Stevens said. “Shelvin has a great feel for the challenges that lie ahead and I think you will see him playing in the NBA next year.”
Mack finished 11th on Butler’s all-time scoring list, fourth in 3-pointers and fifth in assists. He also played a large role in Butler’s back-to-back Final Four appearances.
His on-court accomplishments speak for themselves, but Stevens will remember Mack for different reasons.
“I will remember the things off the court,” Stevens said. “Like the way he acted, the way he took accountability when things weren’t going well and the way he interacted with other students here at Butler.
“Ultimately, our guys have to do a great job in the community, in the classroom and on the court and Shelvin certainly did,” Stevens said.
The NBA Draft will take place June 23.
Until then, Mack will try to prove to NBA scouts and coaches why he belongs on basketball’s biggest stage. No matter the outcome on draft day, Stevens will continue to be proud of Mack.
“He’s had a great impact on Butler,” Stevens said. “I know he will be around and will continue to have a great impact on the school. We wish him nothing but the best.”