Wednesday , Apr , 13 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Chicago State center declares for NBA Draft

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Chicago State center Deji Akindele has declared
himself eligible for the 2005 NBA Draft.

However, the 7-foot-1 sophomore has not hired an agent and can return to
school if he withdraws his name by June 21.

“The university, as well as the basketball program, has made me a better
person, a better basketball player, a better student, and most of all, made me
grow up and mature in a short period of time from the basketball aspect,” said
Akindele in a prepared statement. “That is the reason I feel confident to put
my name in for the upcoming NBA Draft and test my market value.”

Akindele was the Mid-Continent Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year this
past season. He led the league in blocked shots with a single-season school
record of 70, and also averaged 12 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

“It’s good for Deji to test the waters and use this opportunity as a measuring
stick to see where he stands,” said Chicago State head coach Kevin Jones.
“This is a win-win for Deji and for the school because of the exposure this
opportunity will bring, but I’m hopeful at the end of the process, he’ll
return for next season.”

Akindele has played in 60 games over two seasons with the Cougars and has
averaged 9.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots while shooting 57
percent from the field.