STARKVILLE, Miss. — After going unselected in Thursday’s NBA draft, former Mississippi State guard D.J. Stewart Jr. signed a deal to begin his professional career playing with the Miami Heat during the NBA Summer League.
Stewart, a native of Grace, Mississippi, led the Bulldogs to the NIT championship game in 2020-21, where they lost to Memphis 77-65. He scored 20, 22 and 23 points in MSU’s first three NIT games before scoring four points on 1-for-10 shooting against Memphis.
His biggest moment came when he made a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Richmond in the NIT quarterfinals. He was named to the All-NIT Tournament Team for his efforts.
The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder started all 33 games for the Bulldogs during the 2020-21 season and averaged 15.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game on his way to earning second-team All-SEC honors. He was 10th in the Southeastern Conference in points per game and made the second-most field goals in the SEC (167) while ranking 11th in the conference with a 41.4% field goal percentage.
In his two seasons with the Bulldogs, Stewart averaged 12.4 points, shot 42.5% from the floor, 33.9% from 3-point range and 77.2% from the free-throw line.
Stewart will look to use size and athleticism to make an impact at the NBA level.
Stewart announced his plans to enter his name in the 2021 NBA Draft process and go through the NBA’s evaluation process in early April. He retained college eligibility by not signing an agent and had until the end of May to pull out and return to school, but it was announced on May 13 that he signed an agent and would remain in the draft.
“First of all, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the talent to be able to play the game of basketball,” Stewart tweeted on April 1. “Playing in the NBA has always been a goal of mine since I was a child, and I’ve worked relentlessly to be able to achieve that goal.”
”I want to thank my parents, my family, my coaching staff, my teammates and my Mississippi State family for their support during this process. With that being said, I have decided to enter the NBA draft process while maintaining my college eligibility.”