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UCLA’s Aaron Holiday declares for NBA draft

What seemed like a foregone conclusion became official Monday night when UCLA’s Aaron Holiday announced that he would declare for the NBA draft after one of the finest seasons by a Bruins point guard.

Holiday affirmed his intentions in a tweet in which he thanked his family, UCLA coaches and fans for supporting him. The junior will forgo his final season of college eligibility after becoming the Pac-12 Conference’s leading scorer, averaging 20.3 points per game, to go with 5.8 assists per game.

Holiday may have played his way into the first round of the draft after becoming only the second Bruin to average 19 points and five assists, joining eventual NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton. The 6-foot-1 Holiday is projected as a late first-round pick in some mock drafts and an early second-round pick in others.

He will become the third member of his family to play in the NBA, joining brothers Jrue and Justin. The older Holiday brothers are both represented by agent Jason Glushon of Glushon Sports Management.

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Jrue Holiday, who spent one season at UCLA before declaring for the draft, became an All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2012-13 season and now plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. Justin Holiday, who spent four seasons at Washington before going undrafted, became a starter this season with the Chicago Bulls.

One NBA scout who recently spoke with The Times said Justin Holiday’s recent rise could drive up Aaron’s stock among teams who don’t want to overlook another member of the Holiday family.

Aaron Holiday considered testing his fortunes in the draft last year before returning for a more prominent role as a starter after backing up Lonzo Ball the previous season as the team’s sixth man.

Holiday topped 30 points four times this season, including back-to-back 34-point games, and was both first team All-Pac-12 and a member of the Pac-12’s all-defensive team. He made 42.9% of his three-pointers and shouldered the heaviest workload in the conference, averaging 37.7 minutes per game.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch


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