MU's Jerel McNeal Declares For NBA Draft

Marquette University junior guard Jerel McNeal has declared himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft. McNeal has yet to be invited to the NBA's draft camp in April, and by not hiring an agent, he will have the opportunity to return to Marquette for his senior season after he weighs his options.

Milwaukee – Marquette University junior Jerel McNeal has declared himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft, he announced Friday afternoon.

McNeal has not hired an agent and has left the door open to return for his senior season in 2008-09.

"I really feel like it's a win-win situation for me right now," McNeal said. "I am going to be able to gain valuable experience with going through the process, while also leaving open the possibility of returning to Marquette next year."

A Second Team All-BIG EAST honoree in 2007-08, McNeal averaged 14.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. One of two players to start all 35 games, the Chicago, Ill., native finished among the league leaders in scoring (14th, 14.9), assists (14th, 3.54 apg.) and steals (2nd, 2.17 spg.).

"We always want to do everything we can to allow our student-athletes the opportunity to pursue their dreams, regardless of the chosen profession," Williams said. "Jerel's decision is based on giving himself the chance for the NBA Undergraduate Committee to give him feedback on where the league feels he is at as of now.

"As the process evolves, the intelligence we are able to garner will allow him to make a wise decision," Williams added. "We will support him whole heartedly in his decision today and throughout."

He owns career averages of 13.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.3 steals per contest.

McNeal is currently third in school history with 216 steals and is 22nd in scoring with 1,292 points. He was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07 and is a two-time all-conference honoree.

The 2008 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 26 in New York City.

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