After taking time to think about his options, Michigan star freshman center Hunter Dickinson made the decision to enter his name into the 2021 NBA Draft. He still retained his college eligibility, allowing him a longer window to make a final decision.

Recently, Dickinson jumped on the Defend the Block podcast and opened up on his decision to declare for the draft while keeping the option to return to Michigan open.

“I think with the season that I had, I felt like I earned the right to see what NBA teams were saying,” he said, according to 247Sports. “That’s why I was really big on trying to get an NCAA-certified agent because I want some guidance in the process. I also wanted to make sure I was able to retain my eligibility, that was something that was very important to me. Just to be able to keep all my options open. This is a win-win situation for me. To be able to gather information on what NBA teams are saying but also leave the door open to come back, not force myself to leave college.”

The 7-foot-1 center was a second-team All-America selection, a first-team All-B1G player and was named the B1G Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press and the conference’s Freshman of the Year after helping lead Michigan to a B1G regular season title.

In his first year in Ann Arbor, Dickinson averaged 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and more than 1 block per contest.

Dickinson made his decision a little later than most on the NBA Draft. He admits that he continued to debate a return and declaring for the draft pretty frequently before making up his mind.

“I would say I flip-flopped a couple times,” he explained. “It was a really hard decision for me because college was something that it was hard to end the season the way we did, losing that game. I’ve probably thought about it multiple times a day every day since the UCLA game. It’s something that I really wanted to do. Playing in the NBA is, obviously, a lifetime goal of mine. For me to be able to be this close to achieving it, obviously, try to take the chance to see if NBA teams are saying that I’m ready. Also, I think the biggest reason why I wanted to do it, like I said before, it’s my lifetime goal. Essentially, to kind of do both, to have both doors open, for me, I feel like testing was something that made sense.”

After Dickinson receives feedback from NBA scouts, he’ll have one more big decision to make.