Kabongo To Enter NBA Draft

Texas point guard Myck Kabongo announced Friday that he will forego his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility to enter the 2013 NBA Draft.

"It has been a great ride. In my two years at Texas, I have grown up so much as a person, player, and leader," Kabongo said. "I am excited for this next stage of life, though it was a hard decision."

Kabongo said his decision is final, and he plans to sign with an agent, and that he made his decision without consulting NBA decision-makers nor even looking at draft websites for projections.

"If you guys are wondering how I came to make this decision, I talked to God and my mom about it and that is all I needed to talk to when it comes to making decisions," Kabongo said. "I am excited for this next stage of life."

Kabongo said he also talked to multiple NBA players, including former Longhorn Kevin Durant and former Team Canada member Steve Nash. Kabongo spent part of last summer working out with Nash to try to improve his game.

But instead, Kabongo was suspended 23 games by the NCAA for accepting a $475 plane ticket and lying to the Texas compliance staff, though he said he came clean to the NCAA during the process. When asked if he felt "screwed" by the NCAA, he responded "I screwed myself."

"It did not impact me a lot," Kabongo said about the NCAA situation affecting his decision. "I only thought about what could have been. I thought coming into this year especially with the improvements I made in the summertime, I was going to be a better player than I was last year, but in summer I was rolling until that situation happened.

"It is unfortunate but coaches, teammates, and myself have seen the improvements, even though I played in just 11 games," Kabongo said.

According to draft websites DraftExpress.com and NBADraft.net, Kabongo projects as a mid-second round pick.

But Kabongo said nobody attempted to talk him out of his decision, and said that the primary difference between last year, when he decided to come back to Texas, and this year was the confidence he had in himself and in his game. He thanked all of the Texas coaches, teammates and support staff, singling out strength coach Todd Wright for changing his body from when he came in as a freshman, as well as Longhorn head man Rick Barnes.

Kabongo said he was leaving Austin with a deep love for the program, saying that he'll be one of those NBA players wearing Longhorn gear all over the place. He also said he has high hopes for where the program is going.

"It is Texas basketball," Kabongo said. "It is a great program. I think it is the best school to play collegiately in the whole world, to be honest with you. We are blessed to have all the things that we have here. Everything here is top-notch. Everything you can ask for, we have. There is not a problem. For the guys that are leaving, it is unfortunate that this was not the right place for them but they are still Longhorns. They can always come back and someone will have open arms for them. No one is not going to not let them back in. It is unfortunate that they will not get to finish here but everyone is different. I do not think there is a problem with the program, we have standards each year and I know that our team will be a great team next year.

"I hope they have a great season," Kabongo said. "I actually know they will, I have seen everyone working out in the gym everyday, even with core that are currently here and the guys that are coming we have a chance to be good, I can see it. Those guys are going to come in with a mindset to work hard."

Kabongo averaged 14.6 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and averaged 5.5 assists per contest, while also having two steals per game.

"Our staff wishes Myck and his family success as he moves forward," Barnes said. "Obviously he and his family faced a very difficult situation this year with the suspension. But as I've said many times, we are so proud of the way Myck handled the situation. He is a relentless worker in the gym who strives every day to get better in all phases of the game, and we know that will continue in the future."

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