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Oklahoma Star Trae Young Turns Pro, Declares for 2018 NBA Draft

Oklahoma Sooners star guard Trae Young confirmed the inevitable to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday morning about his future.

Young will enter the 2018 NBA Draft after leading all of college basketball in points per game (27.4) and assists per game (8.7) during his freshman season at Oklahoma. In his essay written to ESPN, Young referred to his one season at Oklahoma as ‘unforgettable’, and mentioned how long he’s worked towards a professional basketball career:

“I’ve been preparing most of my life to join the NBA, and that time has come for me now: After an unforgettable year at the University of Oklahoma, I will enter the June NBA draft and fully immerse myself in the pursuit of a pro basketball career,” Young wrote in the piece.

In the NCAA tournament, the Sooners ended up losing in overtime Rhode Island Rams 83-78 to finish the season 18-14. Young was fantastic in his lone tournament game, as he scored 28 points, dished out 7 assists, and grabbed 5 rebounds while shooting 9-18 from the field. Young showcased his excellent long-range shooting and top-notch passing in this game and all-season long that is leading NBA scouts to consider him a lottery pick in the draft.

Young also re-wrote the record books at Oklahoma, as he set freshman records in points (876), assists (279), made free throws (236), and three-pointers made (118). On December 19th against the Northwestern State Demons, Young had 26 points and 22 assists, tying the NCAA record for assists in a game. The 26 points and 22 assists made it the NCAA’s first 20/20 game in two decades. He recorded a career-high 48 points in a loss against the Oklahoma Sate Cowboys on January 20.

“We’re extremely pleased for Trae,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said in a statement revealed to the public by the university. “He had the type of season that deserves this attention and put him in the position that he’s in now. We’re very excited for him going forward and the next chapter in his basketball career. We expect it to all work out for him in a fantastic way.”

When the draft rolls around in June, it’s likely that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and the Los Angeles Clippers could all have interest in drafting Young, but that will all likely depends on how the lottery will shake out in May. Young likely won’t be top-five draft pick, but he could certainly be a lock for the top-10.

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