Looney Declares for the Draft

Apr. 6 -- UCLA freshman forward Kevon Looney, as expected, has elected to forego his college eligibility and enter the NBA Draft...

UCLA's Official Release:

UCLA men’s basketball freshman Kevon Looney has elected to forego his remaining collegiate eligibility and will enter the 2015 NBA Draft.

Looney earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2014-15, averaging 11.6 points and a team-leading 9.2 rebounds per game. He led all freshmen in the nation with 15 double-doubles and was second among freshmen with 9.2 rebounds per game. Looney also ranked second among all Pac-12 players in rebounding and double-doubles.

“This was a really tough decision for me because there were so many positives both ways,” Looney said. “My time at UCLA has been unbelievable, and I know I’ll be a Bruin forever. But playing in the NBA is a dream I’ve had for so long, and this feels like the right time to pursue that dream and make the transition to the next level. Coach Alford, our whole staff and all my teammates have been nothing but supportive of me, my family and my decision. I’m especially grateful to Coach Alford for everything he has done for me since I first stepped on campus last June. Without a doubt, coming to UCLA is the best decision I ever made, and I want everyone to understand that. I hope our fans will continue to support me at the next level as I continue my journey.”

A 6-foot-9 forward from Milwaukee, Wis., Looney helped UCLA advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season. The Bruins compiled a 22-14 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Pac-12 play. Looney shot 47.0 percent from the field, making 41.5 percent of his three-point attempts. In addition to being earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors and being named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team, Looney earned second-team Freshman All-America honors from CBS Sports on Tuesday.

“I know that this was not an easy choice for Kevon, and I completely support the decision to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “It’s difficult because on one hand, I couldn’t be more excited for Kevon while on the other, the realization hits you that we’re losing one of the finest young men that I’ve ever had an opportunity to coach. Kevon is exceptionally hard-working, extraordinarily humble and one of those guys who gives you everything he has on a nightly basis. And as good as Kevon was on the floor, he was an even better person off of it. He is exactly the type of player and person UCLA looks to recruit, and I know our fans really appreciated his effort and demeanor. We are all looking forward to seeing Kevon excel in the NBA, and we could not be prouder of him.”

Looney has the opportunity to add to UCLA’s storied tradition in the NBA. In fact, five players from UCLA’s 2013-14 team have earned playing time in the NBA this year – Zach LaVine, Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Travis Wear and David Wear. One year ago, UCLA was the only program in the nation to have three first-round draft picks (LaVine, Adams and Anderson).

No college program has produced as many NBA draft selections as has UCLA (112, tied with Kentucky on the all-time list). Overall, the Bruins have had 37 first-round picks, including 15 within the draft’s top 10 overall selections. Since 1989, when the NBA Draft moved to a two-round format, UCLA has produced 34 draft selections.

The 2015 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 25 in New York City.

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