NORMAN, Okla. - University of Oklahoma junior forward Amath M'Baye has announced that he will forgo his senior season and will enter the NBA Draft. M'Baye said he plans to hire an agent.
"My time at OU has been great," said M'Baye, who averaged 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds this season en route to earning third-team All-Big 12 honors. "I'm 23 years old. My goal when I came to the United States was to take care of business in the classroom and by the time I was 23 to have a degree in my pocket. Now that I'm graduating in May, it's time for me to start taking care of my family the way they've taken care of me for so long.
"It's a tough process of saying goodbye to everybody because I love everyone here," continued the 6-9, 208-pound native of Bordeaux, France. "The coaches did an amazing job with me and with this team in general. Everyone was great here and I had an amazing time. I want to be able to come back down the road and help the program however I can, because it's given me a lot."
The Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, M'Baye helped the Sooners to a 20-12 record and a return to the NCAA Tournament after a three-year hiatus. He ranked second on the team in rebounding and third in scoring, and shot .461 from the field, .279 (12-for-43) from 3-point range and .750 (60-for-80) from the free throw line. He started all 32 contests and was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team, as well as to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
"Amath has been a terrific ambassador for the University of Oklahoma, both on the court and in the classroom," said OU head coach Lon Kruger. "We appreciate his many contributions and wish him nothing but great success in the future.
"We'll now turn our attention to spring workouts," Kruger continued. "The returning players and our incoming recruits are really excited about next season. Amath's contributions to this year's team enhanced the foundation of our program, and we have a great and motivated young group of guys who will look to build on the success of this year's squad."
M'Baye, who also spent time in Senegal as a youth, came to the United States in 2008 and played one year at Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif. He played two collegiate seasons at the University of Wyoming (averaged 9.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in his 52 games) before transferring to OU.
The NBA Draft will be held June 27 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It will begin at 6 p.m. CDT and be televised by ESPN.