Chuma Okeke declares for NBA Draft

Auburn men's basketball vs Tennessee on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn men's basketball vs Tennessee on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Auburn, Ala.(Wade Rackley /Auburn Athletics (custom credit) | Photo: Wade Rackley /Auburn Athletics)
Updated: Apr. 20, 2019 at 5:29 PM EDT
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AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - After a sensational sophomore season, Auburn forward Chuma Okeke has decided to enter his name into the 2019 NBA Draft.

Okeke bumped his scoring average up from 7.5 points per game to 12.0 points per game from his freshman to sophomore season, hitting on 50 percent of his shots. Okeke was an important staple of Auburn’s run this season that pushed them to the Final Four.

“After talking with my family, Coach Pearl and the entire staff at Auburn, I have decided to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft,” said Okeke. “I want to thank God, my family, my coaches and teammates, and the entire Auburn Family for their continued support these past two seasons.

Before tearing his left ACL in the second half of Auburn’s Sweet 16 game against North Carolina, Okeke had racked up 20 points and 11 rebounds.

“I’m grateful for all that we have accomplished the past two seasons. Together, we’ve won championships and made history at Auburn. War Eagle!”

Okeke scored in double figures 27 times in the 2018-19 season, including 15 of his last 17 games played. He also had a team-best seven double-doubles.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and Chuma is one of the most versatile players I’ve ever coached and impacts the game on both ends of the court,” said head coach Bruce Pearl. “I’m so proud of how hard he’s worked and how much fun he is to coach. When he recovers from this injury he will be better than ever.”

Okeke isn’t the first Tiger to announce his intent to leave early. Junior guard Jared Harper did so 11 days ago.

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