Arizona basketball star Derrick Williams, after weeks of speculation, has decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter the 2011 NBA Draft, according to Arizonawildcats.com.
“After careful consideration and with the support of my family and Coach Miller, I have decided to declare for the 2011 NBA Draft,” said Williams. “I have enjoyed my two years at Arizona both on and off the court. I want to thank my teammates, who are like brothers to me, my coaches and all Wildcat Fans for making my experience an unforgettable one.”
Williams, the 2-10 Pac-10 Player of the Year, averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore for a team that made it to the Elite 8.
Though his leaving will be a blow to the program, head coach Sean Miller said this is a great day for Williams and Arizona basketball.
“Derrick is a special player and rightfully should be considered to be one of the all-time great Wildcats,” Miller said. “As good of a player as he is, he is an even better person.”
Miller said everyone is excited to follow Williams’ progress through the NBA, but until that starts Williams plans on finishing his semester at the school.
“I will finish this semester at the U of A in good academic standing and plan on continuing to pursue my college degree in the future,” he said. “I am a Wildcat for life.”