Dalano Banton’s goal since arriving at Nebraska in 2019 was to make it to the NBA.
On Friday, he took a major official step toward that dream by announcing he would remain in the 2021 draft pool and forgo his remaining college eligibility.
ESPN’s Jonothan Givony first reported the news, and HuskerOnline.com later confirmed the decision.
Statistically, Banton had a productive first active season with the Huskers last season after sitting out 2019-20 as a transfer from Western Kentucky.
The 6-foot-9 guard played in every game for NU 27 games with 22 starts, averaging 9.6 points and leading the team in rebounding (5.9), assists (3.9), and blocks (0.9) per game.
Banton ranked ninth in the Big Ten in assists, 15th in blocks and 18th in rebounding. He also became the first Husker since 1974 to lead his team in rebounds and assists.
The Toronto, Canada, native etched his name in the school record books by posting just the second triple-double in program history with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in 21 minutes against Doane on Dec. 17, 2020.
However, Banton struggled after Nebraska came back off of a nearly month-long break due to COVID-19, and he eventually lost his spot in the starting lineup for the final five games.
Banton declared for the NBA Draft on the day of the deadline on May 31. But it wasn’t until a breakout performance at the G League Elite Camp on June 19-21 that his NBA aspirations became more of a reality.
He led the camp in rebounds and assists and then followed that up with strong performances at a handful of individual workouts with NBA teams.
It’s unclear how likely a draft prospect Banton will ultimately be, but there’s also an opportunity to earn a two-way contract in the G League should he go undrafted.
Regardless of where his basketball path takes him next, Banton told HoopsHype.com that he would always appreciate his time at Nebraska with head coach Fred Hoiberg.
“Everything he says, I soak it up like a sponge,” Banton said. “I know where he is coming from. He has played (in the NBA), and so it’s easy for me to understand him because he’s been in my shoes as well. He gives me advice on everything. I can call him as a friend, as a coach, as a brother. On the court, he puts me in places he feels I can do well.
“He was an NBA coach, so he knows what it is like and how it is, and so he puts me in positions where I can shine and show that I’m an NBA player. I’m not taking his experience for granted.”