North Carolina freshman point guard Cole Anthony said he is putting off an announcement about whether he will enter the NBA draft because of the coronavirus pandemic and how hard it has hit his home city of New York.
"A lot of people have been asking me if I'm going to declare for the NBA draft," he wrote Tuesday night on Instagram. "Anyone who knows me understands that playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine, but given the pain that America and the world are experiencing at this time, I am going to refrain from making any announcements about that topic."
Anthony said his family knows many people suffering from the virus, and one person in the family's circle has died. He is focusing on helping others in the present rather than his basketball future.
"I believe the platform I have been blessed to create because of the game I love so much, should be used for a higher purpose in this moment," he said. "...New York City is experiencing the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the United States. So my biggest concern right now is trying to figure out how I can help during this crisis. We are all in this together! Stay safe."
New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus in the United States, with more than half of the confirmed cases in the country.
As of Wednesday, New York State had more than 26,000 cases, with nearly 16,000 of them in New York City.
Anthony, considered to be a lottery pick, played in just 22 of the Tar Heels' 33 games because of a knee injury. He averaged 18.5 points and 5.7 rebounds.
The Tar Heels struggled to a 14-19 record, but their fortunes are looking up -- especially if Anthony decides to return. North Carolina's recruiting class, ranked No. 3 in the nation behind Kentucky and Duke, includes three five-star recruits, according to 247Sports.
--Field Level Media
says he's delaying any announcements about whether he will enter the 2020 NBA Draft amid the spread of the coronavirus.
In a social media post Tuesday, Anthony said his family knows people in his hometown of New York who have been hospitalized and one who has died. Anthony says he is "trying to figure out how I can help during this crisis."
Considered a likely one-and-done prospect, Anthony averaged 18.5 points for the Tar Heels, though he missed 11 games because of knee surgery and the Tar Heels went just 14-19.
Kenyon Martin Jr, the son of former Nets star Kenyon Martin, declared for the draft on Tuesday.