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UConn freshman Andre Drummond made an official announcement today that he'll enter the 2012 NBA Draft.
It was widely reported on Thursday that Drummond, a 6-foot-10 center from Middletown, was not returning to UConn, becoming the first one-and-done player in the program's history.
Drummond is projected to be a top five lottery pick in the draft. He spent two years at St. Thomas More in Oakdale before coming to UConn last fall.
Some quotes from UConn's press release:
"My family and I feel that this is the right time for me to take the next step in my basketball career," Drummond said. "It has always been a goal of mine to compete against the world’s best players and that is one of the big factors for me in making this decision.
"Although I was only at UConn for one year, the experience I gained playing against the best competition at the college level greatly helped me prepare for what I will face as I pursue a career as a professional."
Coach Jim Calhoun: "Andre is a developing player with unlimited potential and his projected position in the draft is as good as almost any player I’ve ever had. Very few players get such a tremendous opportunity, and he’s got to take advantage of it."
Drummond on his UConn experience: "I really appreciate the time and effort that Coach Calhoun and the whole coaching staff at UConn put in to help me improve my game. I also want to thank our tremendous Husky fans and my teammates. I have developed strong relationships at UConn that will be part of my life forever."
More Calhoun: "Andre came here because he wanted to play for the state school and he showed a great deal of loyalty to our program and to the state itself. Andre and his family have been great people to deal with. Naturally, we’re sad to see him go, but we wish him nothing but great successes in the future."
The NBA draft is June 28 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Today’s American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal doubleheader is underway here at the XL Center in Hartford. A crowd in the 12,000-13,000 range is expected for the UConn-Tulsa game. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.