Fortson signs with agent

Courtney Fortson signed with an agent Wednesday, ending his playing career for the Razorbacks.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas sophomore Courtney Fortson signed with an agent Wednesday, ending any speculation the guard might return for his junior season with the Razorbacks and ending a whirlwind two-year career at Arkansas.

Fortson signed with Charles Briscoe of Atlanta, according to press releases from Briscoe's BP Sports Management, the same firm which represents Arkansas seniors Mike Washington and Stef Welsh.

Fortson led Arkansas with 17.9 points per game last season and led the Southeastern Conference with 5.4 assists per game. He scored a career-high 35 points in a win over Mississippi State on Jan. 28, in which he scored a school-record 33 points in the second half.

Fortson, a Montgomery, Ala., native, was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 8.

"Courtney was one of the most explosive guards in the country this year," Briscoe said in the release. "His second half performance against Mississippi State speaks for itself."

But Fortson had as much trouble off the court as he had success on it. He was suspended for the first 14 games of the 2009-10 season for what Arkansas coach John Pelphrey described as both a violation of team rules and time off to tend to personal matters. He was also suspended two separate times during his freshman season, in which he was named to the SEC's All-Freshman Team.

Fortson's decision to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility comes as little surprise. He had announced on Sunday he would test the 2010 NBA Draft without signing an agent. Under that scenario he would have had until May 8 to withdraw his name and return to school.

"Courtney is an extremely gifted basketball player," Pelphrey said in a university press release Sunday. "He certainly has the talent to play the game of basketball at the highest levels and we support him in his decision to explore that option.

"More than anything we appreciate Courtney and his family communicating to us his intentions and support his actions whichever they may be."

Fortson's departure opens up a roster spot for next season as well as a scholarship for the spring signing period, which ends May 19.

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