Afflalo To Forego Senior Year For NBA
By Bruin Basketball Report
UCLA junior guard Arron Afflalo announced today at a press conference in front of UCLA staff, teammates, coaches, friends and family that he has decided to forego his senior year and enter the NBA draft.
"I am here again to announce that I will be entering this upcoming (NBA) draft," Afflalo told the packed press room. "I called this press conference alongside Coach (Ben Howland), not too give reason so much, but to give thanks. It has been a wonderful three years. I have great teammates and I'm going to miss them a lot. But at this point and time, I feel it is time for me to move on."
Afflalo led the Bruins in scoring each of the past two years while guiding UCLA to back-to-back Pacific-10 Conference championships and back-to-back Final Four appearances.
"Hopefully the community will support me and understand my decision and understand that is was well thought out," added Afflalo, the 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year. "My coach is behind me 100 percent and my father, my mother and my teammates as well."
As a junior in 2007, the Associated Press First Team All-American averaged 16.9 points per game (third in the Pac-10), 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while averaging 2.4 made three-pointers per contest (also third in the Pac-10).
He leaves UCLA ranking 17th on the career charts in scoring (1,540 points, 14.8 ppg) and second all-time in three-point field goals made (209) and attempted (560).
"I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to coach Arron," Coach Howland said. "He was the first recruit that committed when I got the job here and I'll never forget that. I'll always be very thankful and appreciative to Arron. He will always be a Bruin and I'm excited about the relationship that we have developed over the last four years."
Coach Howland went on to add that he believes Afflalo will be a first round draft pick and will go on to have a fruitful career in the NBA.
"He brings a lot of things to the table," Howland continued. "He is UCLA's first consensus All-American since Ed O'Bannon in 1995 and had a tremendous year. But more importantly, he is all about helping his team win and being a great teammate, one that is unselfish and plays both ends of the floor. And those are things that coaches are looking for at the next level. I believe he will have a long and successful career in the NBA."
BBR congratulates Arron Afflalo on a fabulous collegiate career at UCLA. His heart and will to win have been the hallmark of the Bruin teams he's helped lead to two Final Fours.
We thank Afflalo for his contributions in returning the program to elite status. He will forever be remembered as one of the best players to ever put on a UCLA basketball uniform.
(photo credit: Jack Rosenfeld/AP/BBR)