ANN ARBOR--The dream of playing in the NBA and the millions of dollars that come with it--will have to wait.
At least one more year anyways.
As freshman power forward , Mitch McGary, announced that he will stay with the Michigan basketball team for his sophomore season in front of coaches and teammates Thursday at the Crisler Center.
A projected lottery pick, McGary's announcement comes 11 days after he helped lead the Wolverines to their first national championship game appearance since 1993.
While the lure of NBA millions was tempting for McGary, the opportunity to be a student athlete was too good for him to pass up next season.
"I kind of want to be a kid one more year. You know, have fun," McGary explained at Thursdays press conference. "This is the last team that I am actually ever play for. If I get to the NBA, then it's going to be just, you're going to be playing for a contract. This is like the last team. I'm a team player. I like to play at high levels. NBA is high level, but I want to comeback one more year and get better."
At 6-foo-10, 256-pounds, McGary was projected to be a top-10 pick in some mock drafts, but chose to come back after meeting with his parents and mentor Wayne Brumm on Tuesday evening. Brumm was also McGary's and Glenn Robinson III's AAU coach in high school.
"It was 50/50 (on my decision)," McGary said. "And I didn't make the decision till Tuesday. I might have been leaning a little bit towards that way (going to the NBA). I just talked it over with my family and thought, you know, I thought it was best for me to come back another year."
McGary averaged 14.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and shot 67.8 percent from the field in the six games he started in Michigan's NCAA tournament run.
McGary, made the decision with his best friend on the team, Robinson III, who was also projected to be a late lottery to mid first-round draft pick. Robinson III, also announced he will be staying for his sophomore season at Thursday's press conference. Being such close friends, the decision to stay or go pro was a joint effort by both McGary and Robinson III. If one were to leave, most likely the other would follow, said McGary.
"It would be weird not to be able to play with like ‘my brother' pretty much," McGary said on being able to play with Robinson III one more season. "That's why we came here for to play on the court together and try to win. So if he's going to come back, then I'm going to comeback. If he's going, then we would have to talk about it. It's either we're both in or both out."
As far as clearing the rumors surrounding his decision to go pro or not, McGary said he wanted to be the one to tell the public.
"This is our decision. Like I said, I told people that I tweeted that (I might leave)," McGary said. "I was trying to have some fun. Try to keep the suspense alive. Try to do my best at it. It's our decision and we like to reveal it—not have anybody else sneak it out. I'm glad it's over with and just can't wait for next season.
"I wanted to comeback. We had some unfinished business. I'm trying to get back to Dallas."
Mitch McGary Stays Blue (w/video)
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