Francisco Garcia says he's headed to the NBA

6-foot-7 <b>Francisco Garcia</b> will forego his senior season at the University of Louisville and enter the 2005 NBA Draft.

According to the Associated Press, 6-foot-7 Francisco Garcia will forego his senior season at the University of Louisville and enter the 2005 NBA Draft.

"There's no going back. I think I can be a lottery pick," Garcia said Thursday in a conference call with the Dominican media.

As a junior, Garcia led the Cardinals in scoring (15.7), assists (148), steals (65) and blocked shots (56), while helping Louisville advance to the Final Four for the first time in nineteen years.

"I know my abilities and I'm confident I can make it," he added.

Yesterday, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino gave the talented forward his blessing to pursue his NBA dream.

"I want him to go pro, I do not want him coming back," Pitino said. "It's a dream of his, and the young man wants to go pro. And he's ready for it. He's 23 years of age, and he helped us get to the Final Four. So the timing is right for him to leave."

Garcia, who joins Clifford Rozier, Jason Osbourne, and Samaki Walker as the only players in U of L history to leave early for the NBA, said he will attend several pre-draft training camps to help boost his stock, and he'll also play with the Dominican Republic at the Tournament of the Americas in Santo Domingo in August and September.

This year's NBA Draft will take place June 28.


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