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UConn junior Andre Jackson Jr., — a driving force in the Huskies’ national championship run — plans to enter the NBA draft in June but retain his college eligibility, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

As much as any player in the NCAA tournament, Jackson Jr. built momentum to elevate himself to become a potential first-round pick in June, team executives said. Jackson is planning to participate in the NBA draft combine in mid-May and has until the May 31 early entry deadline to make a decision on remaining in the draft or returning to UConn for his senior year.

At 6-foot-6, his creative and unselfish playmaking, multipositional defense and leadership intangibles were prominent throughout UConn’s dominant march to the program’s fifth NCAA title.

Jackson, who averaged 6.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.3 steals in the tournament, still hasn’t shown himself to be a reliable perimeter shooter, but he did show improvement last season.

Jackson’s value to NBA teams could come in a multitude of other ways, especially his disruptive defense and playmaking abilities. UConn coach Dan Hurley credits Jackson’s leadership in getting the team through a tough midseason patch and back on track to becoming toward the national championship. He’s called Jackson a great “connector of people.”

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UConn’s Andre Jackson Jr. to test NBA draft waters