Gonzaga's Austin Daye To Enter NBA Draft; Won't Hire Agent
April 15, 2009
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University men's basketball forward Austin Daye announced Wednesday he will enter his name into the National Basketball Association June draft but will not hire an agent, leaving open his option to return to Gonzaga next season.
Daye averaged 12.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 2.1 blocks/game as a sophomore this past season in helping the Bulldogs to a 28-6 overall record and a berth in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Gonzaga finished the season ranked 10th in the Associated Press and 13th in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.
"Basically I want to test the waters to see what my future might entail," Daye said of his decision. "I definitely had to sit down and talk to my family about my decision. If a great opportunity presents itself I might have to lead that path. A lot depends on these workouts."
The workouts Daye referred to will come following the end of the school year May 8 when he returns home. "I will go home right after the end of the school year and work out with a personal trainer on my physical body and basketball skills. I'll be doing a variety of things to get ready for the tryouts with NBA teams."
Daye said he sought and received a lot of advice in making the decision.
"My dad (former UCLA and NBA player Darren Daye) told me this is my decision and to make a good choice that will benefit me the most. He told me it's important for our family to know it's my decision," the younger Daye said.
Daye, who has 778 points for an 11.6 ppg career average in his two seasons at Gonzaga, said the Bulldog coaches have been supportive.
"The coaches said don't leave," he laughed. "Seriously, they have been supportive and I appreciate their support. They understand my situation. I have to make sure I make the right choice and I think I have. Testing the waters won't be too bad, especially since I'm not going to sign with an agent. The best opportunity will present itself later and I'll have to make that choice when it comes also."
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few, who went through this same scenario last year when guard Jeremy Pargo submitted his name prior to his just-completed senior season, wished Daye well.
"Obviously, we'd like to see Austin in a Gonzaga uniform next year. He's a great individual and someone we enjoy having in our program. I don't begrudge anybody taking a look at their future," Few said. "I'm confidant when the time comes Austin will make an informed, educated decision about what is best for his immediate basketball future."
Daye said he hasn't talked to Pargo yet, but "I'll be talking to him about it. I've talked to other guys. I've had some good leaders to follow."
Daye said the NBA has been a dream throughout his life.
"Since I came out of the womb I guess," he said when asked when his dream started. "When I was in diapers and dunking a little tykes basket it was in my dreams. It's kind of weird it's here so fast but it's a fun journey I'll have to travel."
The deadline for underclassmen submitting their paperwork to the NBA to declare their intentions is June 26. Daye has until June 16 to withdraw his name and retain his rights to return to college.
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