This may be the least surprising news of the day: After tearing up college basketball and becoming an All-American, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor announced that he will forego his final three years of school and enter the NBA Draft. Okafor, who is expected to be a top-3 pick, averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds while leading the Blue Devils to a National Championship.
Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor will enter the 2015 NBA Draft, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Thursday. Okafor, a consensus first team All-America selection, joins Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012) and Jabari Parker (2014) as Blue Devil freshmen to enter the NBA Draft after just one season of college basketball. The five previous freshmen early entrees were each selected among the first 13 players in their respective drafts, including Irving, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.
“What a great decision!” said Krzyzewski. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Jahlil and he has earned it. Obviously, he has done an incredible job here at Duke and he will always be a part of our Duke basketball family. We could not be happier for him and his family.”
“As early as I can remember, I’ve fantasized and dreamed of the day that I could play professional basketball,” said Okafor. “ I recall at the age of six, promising my mom and dad that when I made it to the NBA I would buy them both different colored trucks. They would laugh with me in support and encouraged me to dream big and work hard. With that being said and now at the age of 19, my dream is still alive! My freshman year has been an amazing experience to say the least. It exceeded my expectations! I love Cameron and Duke University! I can’t thank my coaches, teammates and family enough for making this year so special and helping me grow on and off the court. With Coach K’s and my family’s blessing I will be fulfilling my life-long dream and proudly entering my name into the NBA draft.”