Durant headed to NBA
Austin, TX (Sports Network) – Texas’ Kevin Durant, the first freshman in NCAA
history to earn consensus National Player of the Year honors, announced
Tuesday he will be eligible for this June’s NBA Draft.
Durant is expected to be either the first or second overall pick, with Greg
Oden in the other position, if the Ohio State freshman also chooses to jump
early to the NBA.
“It doesn’t really matter where I am drafted,” Durant said. “I just want to be
there and make an impact. I really don’t know. I leave that up to the people
that handle the draft process. I know that I will be one of the high picks,
but it doesn’t matter where I go.”
Durant led the Longhorns in scoring (25.8 ppg), rebounding (11.1 rpg), blocked
shots (67), steals (66) and double-doubles (20). He was the only player to
rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring (fourth) and rebounding
“It’s been my dream for a while and I felt like I was ready,” Durant said. “I
had to take the opportunity. It wasn’t the shoe contract or anything like
that. I love the game and I thought it was time.”
The 6-foot-9 Durant completed a sweep of the seven National Player of the Year
awards, including the Wooden Award presentation. He previously won the
Naismith Trophy, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and also the Adolph Rupp Trophy.
Durant is the first player in Texas history to declare for the NBA Draft
following his freshman year.
Durant completed an incredible season in which he led the Big 12 in scoring
and rebounding, and was named the Conference Player of the Year. He’s also the
second-highest scoring freshman in NCAA history, behind only Chris Jackson of
LSU in 1989.
Despite his decision to jump to the NBA, Durant said he’s committed to
finishing this semester and to coming back to earn his degree.
“I’m excited. This is a new challenge and I am looking forward to it, but
right now, I am just a regular student here at Texas, and I am still very part
of the team,” Durant said. “Like I have said, nothing has changed right now. I
am going to keep going to my classes. There is no doubt about that. I’m not
going to hurt the program. I’m always going to keep going to my classes
because like I said, I’m still just a student here at Texas right now.”