When his name was called on Thursday night of the 2019 NBA Draft, College of Charleston 6-foot-7 power forward Jarrell Brantley was originally selected 50th overall in the second round by the Indiana Pacers, but later traded to the Utah Jazz.
At that moment, the program’s third all-time leading scorer (1,914 career points) and 2019 All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team selection became just the third-ever men’s basketball player in school history to be drafted.
Like his storied four-year career that included the Cougars’ first NCAA Tournament appearance in 19 years in 2018 and a CAA regular-season and tournament title, Brantley once again cemented his status among the all-time greats to ever don the Maroon and White at The College.
He now joins Anthony Johnson, who was picked 40th overall in the second round by the Sacramento Kings in 1997 and Andrew Goudelock, who was picked 46th overall in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011, in that elite group.
Brantley was one of College of Charleston head coach Earl Grant’s first recruits back in 2014. He and his staff have seen the Columbia native’s growth from his days at Ridge View High School to his time at Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Md., as well as his prep school days at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Fitchburg, Mass.
“Jarrell’s work ethic, determined spirit and faith is why he made it,” Grant said. “He really put a lot of time into becoming a great player. I’m extremely proud of him.”
Brantley watched the draft with his family in Columbia and spent the last month with workouts scheduled with more than 12 NBA teams including the Jazz last Saturday in Salt Lake City. He generated a lot of buzz after a strong showing at the pre-NBA Draft Portsmouth Invitational in Portsmouth, Virginia, and winning the 2019 3X3U National Championship during the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis.
“This is what kids dream of,” said Brantley, who was born in Charleston and graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. “The journey has been fun. For me to be in this position is amazing. I get to put on for Charleston and South Carolina in general. I knew God had a plan.”
Brantley was picked by Utah in the second round alongside Justin Wright-Foreman of Hofstra (No. 53) and Miye Oni of Yale (No. 58). He and Wright-Foreman became the first NBA Draft Pick duo from the Colonial since 1992.
“We are really excited to have them,” said Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik. “They fit what we’re looking for in Jazz players, now and going forward.”
He is one of three former CofC basketball student-athletes currently in the NBA next to Joe Chealey (’18), who is a two-way player for the Charlotte Hornets and Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G-League and Willis Hall (‘13), who currently serves as a video coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs.