Killingsworth To Test His Stock As Draft Prospect

Junior power forward Marco Killingsworth has filed papers to make himself eligible for the NBA draft.

Auburn, Ala.--Junior forward Marco Killingsworth announced on Tuesday that he has filed papers to make himself eligible for the NBA draft, however, that doesn't mean he won't return for his senior season at Auburn.

Killingsworth, who was named the 2003-2004 team's Most Valuable Player on Monday, said on Tuesday he will not sign with an agent. He can wait until June 17th to take his name out of the National Basketball Association draft, which is scheduled for June 24.

Although Killingsworth is not expected to be selected in a draft that runs for only two rounds and for 60 slots, by declaring early he can showcase his skills at NBA pre-draft camps and become a higher profile player for his senior season and in the 2005 draft. If he outplays prospects who are expected to be drafted, he will have a chance to move himself into consideration for this year's draft.

"I will not sign with an agent and will return to Auburn for my senior year if I am not satisfied with my position," Killingsworth said. "I had discussions about this possibility with Coach (Cliff) Ellis and Coach (Jeff) Lebo has been very supportive." Ellis was fired as head coach last month and Lebo took over the job last Thursday.

"It's always been my dream to play in the NBA, and I want to see where I stand," said Killingsworth. "I am on track to receive my degree in sociology next May and will be excited to come back to Auburn if that is the right thing to do."

Marco Killingsworth is shown in NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament action vs. Wake Forest.

Lebo, his new head coach, said, "We support Marco's decision to enter his name in the draft without hiring an agent. We all want what is best for Marco. He is very close to graduating, and he certainly made a commitment towards playing his senior year and graduating if he does not stay in the draft. We wish Marco the best in either direction he decides to go."

Shannon Weaver, who served as interim head coach prior to Lebo taking over the program, said that no player he has been around worked harder on his game in the past year than Killingsworth, a 6-7, 235-pound power forward. Killingsworth led Auburn in scoring at 13.7 points per game and rebounds at 6.9 per outing. He shot 59 percent from the field to lead the Southeastern Conference in field goal percentage for a second straight season.

SEC coaches named him second team all-conference this past season. He has 1,041 career points, which is 25th in AU history, and 523 career rebounds. He is the 10th AU player to achieve both the 1,000-point and 500-rebound marks in three seasons.

Killingsworth is only the fifth underclassman from the AU program to declare for the NBA. Charles Barkley (1984), Mike Jones (1988) and Jamison Brewer (2001) all did it an each was drafted. Barkley was the fifth pick of the first round by the Philadelphia '76ers. Jones was a third round pick (63rd overall) by the Milwaukee Bucks, but did not make it in the NBA and played overseas. Brewer was a second round pick (41st overall) by the Indiana Pacers. Brewer is still on the Indiana roster as a reserve. Adam Harrington (2002) was not drafted and played this past season for a minor league pro team in Columbus, Ga., prior to being injured and lost for the season.


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