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April 17, 2013

Official: Jerrett to enter NBA draft

Arizona freshman Grant Jerrett is expected to forgo his final three years of eligibility and enter this summer's NBA draft, multiple outlets reported Wednesday night.

Two hours later, Arizona released a statement confirming Jerrett's plans.

"Today, with the support of my family, I made the decision to enter the 2013 NBA Draft and pursue my lifelong dream of playing professional basketball," Jerrett said in the release. "I would like to thank all Wildcat fans, my teammates and coaches for making my year in Tucson an incredible experience. I will forever be an Arizona Wildcat."

When Jerrett was still mulling over his decision, a source within the program told GOAZCATS.com late Sunday evening that such a move would not be a surprise to the coaching staff. The reasoning behind Jerrett's decision was partly influenced by what has been projected to be a weak draft class for big men.

Draftexpress.com is projecting eight international forwards and centers - six in the first round - to be drafted June 27.

Jerrett, however, is not projected to be drafted and is ranked the 25th-best freshman.

"I would like to wish Grant well as he pursues his goal of becoming a part of the NBA," UA head coach Sean Miller said in the release. "Not only is Grant a talented player, but he is an even better person with a wonderful and supportive family. I look forward to helping him in any way that I can as he moves forward in his basketball career."

The 6-10, 235-pound forward averaged 5.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and shot 40.9 percent from the field over 34 games - two starts - last season. The Chino Hills, Calif., native also shot a team-high 40.5 percent from the 3-point line as a "stretch four" - which has become more common in a league where big men are no longer confined to playing around the basket.

Jerrett scored in double figures five times, including a career-best 15 points against Oral Roberts on Dec. 18. With a 7-foot wingspan, he also led the team with 33 blocked shots - including six at Oregon State on Jan. 12.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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