April 10, 2012
STORRS, Conn. -
University of Connecticut sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb has decided to forego the final two seasons of his college eligibility and make himself available for the upcoming NBA Draft.
"It was a difficult decision, but after much prayer and discussion with my parents, I feel that it's in the best interest of me and my family to declare myself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball," Lamb said. "I have very much enjoyed my two years at UConn, especially getting to experience one of the greatest feelings that a college player can have, winning the national championship."
The 6-5 Lamb, 19, from Norcross, Ga., started every game for the Huskies last season and led the team in scoring this season at 17.7 points per game. He also averaged 4.9 rebounds as he was selected to the All-BIG EAST First Team. He scored in double figures in 31 games, led the Huskies in scoring 17 times, scored 30 or more points in two games and 20 or more 10 times.
Last season, Lamb became just the sixth sophomore in UConn history to score 1,000 career points. His total of 1,060 points rank him No. 42 on UConn's all-time scoring list. He is only the 11th player in UConn history to score as many as 600 points (603) in one season.
"It's never easy to lose a great player from your program, but Jeremy has a unique opportunity that he needs to take advantage of," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "He's been a great kid to coach for the past two years ... his teams have won 52 games, been to two NCAA Tournaments, and won a national championship. I look forward to him developing into a terrific player in the NBA and secondly, as he's promised me, to come back and finish his degree."
As a freshman, Lamb was an integral part of UConn's run to the BIG EAST and NCAA national championships, earning NCAA Final Four All-Tournament, NCAA West Region All-Tournament, and BIG EAST All-Tournament honors. During the summer following his freshman year, Lamb competed with Team USA at the U19 FIBA World Championships, leading the team with a 16.2 scoring average and 18 steals in nine games.
"I have learned a lot, both on and off the basketball court as well as in the classroom, and I feel as if I'm ready to take the next step in my basketball career," Lamb said. "I intend to successfully complete the current semester academically as I get prepared for the draft."
Lamb becomes the 14th UConn player under Calhoun to leave school early to enter the NBA Draft. All but one of the previous 13 were drafted in the first round.
"First, I want to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play this great game," Lamb said. "I want to thank Coach Calhoun for giving me the opportunity to play at UConn and I want to thank the entire coaching staff and all my teammates for helping me improve enough to hopefully be successful at the next level.
"I am proud that I will always be part of the Connecticut basketball family."