Irving entering NBA Draft after one season

Posted: 07/04/2011 in NBA, NCAAB

Duke G Irving declares for NBA Draft

Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving said Wednesday that he will enter the NBA Draft and plans to hire an agent.

Irving played just 11 games this past season after suffering a toe injury on his right foot that kept him out of 26. He received high praise for his first eight games before the injury, however, and returned to action just in time for the NCAA Tournament.

“This was a special year for me,” Irving said in a statement. “I love everything about Duke and I’m going to miss it. Duke has a special place in my heart. Even though I’m leaving this year, Duke will always be in my mind and my heart. I’m going to miss putting on that No. 1 jersey.”

Irving helped West Region No. 1 Duke make it to the Sweet 16 and averaged 17.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in the tournament.

His coming-out game was a 31-point performance against then-No. 6 Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in December. It was only the fourth time in school history a freshman scored 30 or more points, but Irving was injured in Duke’s next game.

“Our whole program is overjoyed with having Kyrie here for one year and that he has the chance now to pursue a dream of being a high draft pick and a great player in the NBA,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision.”

Irving is expected to be one of the top picks of the draft on June 23 in New York City.


– Steve


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