15 Apr 2009


STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut junior men’s basketball player Hasheem Thabeet (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) has chosen to give up his final season of eligibility and enter his name into the 2009 NBA Draft, it was announced Tuesday.

“After spending time with my family and friends and speaking with Coach Calhoun, I have decided to give up my final year at UConn and enter my name in the 2009 NBA Draft,” said Thabeet. “I have had a great experience at Connecticut and cannot thank my coaches and teammates enough. I look forward to the challenge of playing professionally and know that my time here at UConn has prepared me to be successful in the future. I also want to thank all of the fans in Husky Nation that have followed my career, especially those from my homeland of Tanzania, and hope they will all be as supportive of me at the professional level as they have been to this point.”“Hasheem is more than ready to make the move to the next level,” said head coach Jim Calhoun. “He has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of college basketball and I am certain that where ever he ends up in the NBA, he is ready to be equally successful. He is a special player and even more special as a person. He will truly be remembered as one of the great players in UConn history, not only for his accomplishments, but also because of the type of person he is.”

Thabeet was named First Team All-American in 2008-09 by the NABC and the John R. Wooden Award. He was the NABC National Defensive Player of the Year and BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons and was the 2008-09 BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year. He averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocked shots per game (No. 2 nationally) in 2008-09 and helped lead the Huskies the 2009 NCAA Final Four and a 31-5 final record.Thabeet is the 11th player at UConn to declare early for the NBA Draft and nine of the previous ten were drafted in the first round. Eight of the ten were taken in the lottery portion of the first round

I’m not surprised at this. Thabeet is definitely a lottery pick and could be one of the top three picks. I’d expect Blake Griffin from Oklahoma to go No. 1 overall.
It could now be a long season for the Huskies as they will now need to replace Thabeet as well as A.J. Price, Craig Austrie and Jeff Adrien. Kemba Walker should fill-in nicely at the point and will need Stanley Robinson to play consistently like he did throughout the NCAA Tournament - soxanddawgs.com/2009-04-14 Thabeet is heading to the NBA .

SOURCE: Da Subi

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