Romeo Weems declares for 2021 NBA Draft


Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia

FILE-Asst. Director of Basketball Operations Matt Flemming embraces freshman forward Romeo Weems during his clutch, 18-point performance Saturday night.

DePaul sophomore forward Romeo Weems is hiring an agent and will enter the 2021 NBA Draft, he announced on his Instagram Wednesday. 

Weems was the first four-star recruit to commit and go to DePaul during former head coach Dave Leitao’s tenure. 

“As many of you know, it has always been my lifelong dream to one day play in the NBA,” Weems wrote on his Instagram. “I am fully focused on preparing myself for this next step in my life and achieving my goal of playing the game I love at the highest level.”

The 6-foot-7 forward joined DePaul in 2019 and was part of a team that started his freshman season 12-1, with wins over Iowa, Texas Tech and Minnesota. Weems was at the heart of that hot start for the Blue Demons, scoring in double figures in his first two games. 

“I just feel more at home [at DePaul],” Weems told The DePaulia before the 2019-20 season. “During the recruitment process, a lot of coaches were telling me everything I did well instead of what I needed to do to get better. I feel like DePaul was one of the only coaches — it was a couple more — but it was one of the only coaches that told me what I could do to get better, winning games, become a better player, stuff like that.” 

Even more impressive than his offensive ability, Weems was one of DePaul’s best defenders during his first season. He would constantly guard the opposing team’s best offensive player and finished among the Big East’s leaders in steals (1.3) and blocks (0.8) per game. 

Weems’ best game as a freshman came in a 69-68 win over Marquette on March 3, 2020. He finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, making multiple big shots down the stretch and blocking a potentially game-winning Markus Howard shot in the final seconds. 

At the end of the season, Weems was named to the Big East All-Freshman team. His numbers did drop this past season and his playing time also decreased. In 18 games, Weems averaged 7.3 points and 5 rebounds per game. 

DePaul also struggled this past season, going 5-14 overall and 2-13 in the Big East. Leitao was fired at the end of the season. 

Weems is the third DePaul player to enter the NBA Draft in as many years. Max Strus went undrafted in 2019, but currently plays for the Miami Heat. Paul Reed, on the other hand, was taken by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 57th pick in November’s draft. Reed ended up winning both G League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. 

“I also want to thank my coaches and teammates at DePaul University for having my back and allowing me to showcase my skills as a student-athlete,” Weems wrote on Instagram. “They have helped me learn many valuable lessons that I will carry for the rest of my life.”