University of Oklahoma junior Amath Mâ€™Baye has announced that he will forgo his senior season menâ€™s basketball and will enter the National Basketball Association Draft. He is graduating early, and he announced plans to hire an agent.
â€œMy time at OU has been great,â€ said Mâ€™Baye, â€œIâ€™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 Iâ€™m graduating in May, itâ€™s time for me to start taking care of my family the way theyâ€™ve taken care of me for so long.
â€œItâ€™s a tough process of saying goodbye to everybody because I love everyone here,â€ he added. â€œThe 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 itâ€™s given me a lot.â€
In his one season with Oklahoma Mâ€™Baye averaged 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds this season en route to earning third-team All-Big 12 honors. He came into the season as the Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Mâ€™Baye subsequently 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.
â€œAmath has been a terrific ambassador for the University of Oklahoma, both on the court and in the classroom,â€ said University of Oklahoma menâ€™s basketball head coach Lon Kruger. â€œWe appreciate his many contributions and wish him nothing but great success in the futureâ€¦Amathâ€™s contributions to this yearâ€™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 yearâ€™s squad.â€
Mâ€™Baye stands at 6â€™9â€, 208 pounds. He is originally from Bordeaux, France, but he also spent time in Senegal as a youth. He subsequently came to the United States in 2008 and played one year at Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif. He played two seasons at the University of Wyomingbefore transferring to Oklahoma. The NBA Draft will be held on June 27th.