Edgewater’s Simons declares for NBA Draft


Central Florida native and former Edgewater High School basketball standout, Anfernee Simons, announced Thursday that he will be entering the 2018 NBA Draft.

“After discussing the matter with my parents, I have decided to forego the opportunity to play in the NCAA and to instead enter the NBA Draft,” Simons said in a statement through his agents, Drew Rosenhaus and Bobby Petriella. “I am very thankful for the support I received at IMG Academy and from the NCAA coaches who recruited me. I am ready and excited to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA.”


Although Simons has not taken the seemingly traditional route of attending college for one season before making the jump to the pros, the 6’3’’ combo guard will enter as the 19th best prospect in this year’s class, according to ESPN’s latest mock draft.

Following his senior season at Edgewater, Simons was committed to play collegiately at the University of Louisville. However, after both the Louisville basketball program and then-head-coach, Rick Pitino, became the primary focus of an FBI investigation that would eventually lead to Pitino’s firing, Simons spent the equivalent of his freshman year in college at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Although the ever-controversial “one-and-done” rule is often mistaken for an NCAA decree, it’s actually the NBA’s 19-year-old age limit that prohibits anyone from entering the league directly out of high school. Simons will be just 13 days removed from his 19th birthday on draft day.


In three seasons at Edgewater, Simons compiled 1,437 points – good for 4th all-time on the school’s scoring list and 1st among anyone who played less than four seasons at the school. As a senior, Simons led Edgewater to the state finals, averaging 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists per game. He was named Florida’s 7A Player of the Year and was a finalist for Mr. Basketball, the state’s highest individual basketball honor.

“For as good of a player as he is on the court, he is even better off the court,” Edgewater basketball head coach, Jason Atherton said. “He will always be a great representative of Edgewater High School and the boys’ basketball program. He has a tremendous work ethic, and that’s what really separates him from his peers. I’m excited to watch him realize his dream of playing in the NBA and watching him grow as a professional basketball player.”


The home-grown prospect could be a homerun selection for the Orlando Magic. Simons’ size, athleticism and, most importantly, his shooting ability, address critical needs for the struggling, faceless franchise. Unfortunately, currently sporting one the league’s worst records (21-51), the Magic could find themselves out of position to make the savvy selection.
NBADraft.net is currently projecting Simons to be selected 21st overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. The Magic’s projection, you ask? How about the 4th overall pick on Serbian sensation, Luka Doncic.

Pure Magic, indeed.

The NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 21 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.


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Written by Nick Moore

Nick Moore is a sports contributor at Central Florida Lifestyle. He is an alumni of the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors from the School of Health and Human Performance - Sports Management.
Nick has been in the media industry for 13 years, serving a variety of roles in both the business and production aspects. His well-rounded work history is a testament to his belief that you can never learn too much, and the best learning comes through doing.

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