Robinson Declares

In what has been the worst-kept secret in Seattle, Washington guard Nate Robinson announced Monday that he would be forgoing his senior season of eligibility and put his name into the 2005 NBA draft. He tested the waters last year, having attended the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago, but this time around he'll be leaving Montlake for good.

Robinson, recently named to the Associated Press' All-America third team, was expected to make his professional intentions known, and he did not disappoint.

Besides his All-American nod, Robinson was also named the MVP of the 2004 Great Alaskan Shootout and found himself on the All Pac-10 team with senior guard Tre Simmons.

"One of the biggest compliments you can give someone is that they leave a place better than how they found it," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. "Before he came to Washington the basketball team had fallen on hard times, and he played a big part to where the program is now recognized nationally.

"We'll miss everything about him, even his poor singning on the bus."

"It was tough, with what the team did this year. I had so much fun," said Robinson. "But now I have a family and I think I'm ready. I know I'm ready to make the jump. It's been a dream of mine since I was a little boy."

Junior guard Brandon Roy was also at Hec Ed Monday for the news, and the next press conference will be for him. He has until May 14th to decide whether or not to also skip his final season of eligibility for the temptation of pro ball.

"My decision will come soon," said Roy. "I'm just not ready yet." He did add that he's preparing himself as if he'll be one of the key ingredients for another UW run to post-season play in 2005-2006.

"I have a chance to be a leader on the team," he said. "And regardless, I'm going to finish school right now, so I'm not going to get an agent. I keep bringing out the pros and cons and eventually I'll make my decision."

Right now it's looking as if Roy may test the NBA waters much like Robinson did in 2004, only to come back to Washington in the fall. Either way, Roy will be influenced by Robinson just like he was an influence on Nate's final decision.

"We've been talking a lot about our decisions," said Robinson. "We've had a lot of lunches. I've known BRoy since the 5th grade and we've been through a lot of similar situations. He was a big part of me making my decision.

"Now he'll have those questions after today."

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