Updated Apr 10, 2013 - 8:21 am
Returning to ASU ‘the best thing' for Jahii Carson
While a disc jockey played music in one corner, a large video screen played highlights from the Sun Devils' just completed 22-win season.
Moments later, the man everyone was waiting for walked into the room wearing a black Nike pitchfork logo golf shirt.
Jahii Carson then wasted little time in making his announcement.
"This whole process has just been really exciting and tough at the same time," Carson said. "I've just been constantly with the coaching staff and with my family every day, just coming to what's the best conclusion and the best outcome for me. I just decided just to continue my career here as a Sun Devil.
The Dutson Theater inside the Carson Student-Athlete Center erupted in applause.
"I like the way I feel when I step on campus and hang out with everybody here at Arizona State," Carson continued once the celebration quieted down. "I just think it's the best thing for me to do is to continue to try to build a legacy here and be the best Sun Devil I can be."
Carson was pretty good in his first season at ASU, setting seven school freshman records.
The nation's top freshman scorer, he averaged a team-high 18.5 points per game with 3.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 47.3 percent.
Carson was named co-Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, made the first-team All-Pac-12, earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Tournament team and was one of eight finalists for the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award.
Earlier this month, he submitted paperwork for evaluation from the NBA and the league's Undergraduate Advisory Committee.
"I had positive feedback," said Carson, who had until April 16 to withdraw his application. "The decision was just something that I felt comfortable about and that my family felt comfortable about. The coaching staff felt that my decision was a good one too. That's just what I went based off of, was my heart."
Whether his heart tells him to stay beyond a second year and complete his eligibility at ASU, Carson could not say.
"I really don't know the future," he said. "I know that I'm on track to graduate and that's what my Mom has always wanted me to do. When the question arises, I really don't know. I can't speak for the future, but I'm a Sun Devil. I feel like I could have a family here for the rest of my life so it wouldn't be an option I would count out."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
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