Utah State center Neemias Queta to declare for NBA Draft

The Aggies junior center had a breakout season in 2020-21.

UNLV guard Bryce Hamilton (13) shoots as Utah State center Neemias Queta (23) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference men's tournament Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Utah State junior center Neemias Queta appears is taking the next step in his basketball career.

Queta will forgo his senior season with the Aggies and declare for the NBA Draft, he announced Monday on Twitter. The move was expected after his performance in the 2020-21 season.

“Coming from Portugal to Utah as a 19-year-old man, I never could’ve expected all of the amazing events that would unfold over the next three years,” Queta wrote in a goodbye message to USU fans. “From winning back-to-back Mountain West [Tournament] Championships, two NCAA Tournaments and building lifelong friendships along the way, I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Queta was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. He averaged 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. His 97 blocks led the NCAA this past season.

For his career, Queta averaged 13.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 assists. He helped Utah State to three straight NCAA Tournament berths and did so this past season as the team’s focal point on both sides of the court.

Queta also tested the waters on the NBA Draft after his sophomore season before deciding to return to Utah State.