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Arizona's Gilbert Arenas Declares for NBA Draft
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/12/2001
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TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona men's basketball player Gilbert Arenas has decided to forego his final two collegiate seasons and make himself eligible for the 2001 NBA Draft.

Arenas, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard from North Hollywood, Calif., led the team with a 16.2 points per game average, and shot 47.9 percent from the floor in 36 games this season. An ESPN.com third team All-America selection, Arenas also earned all-Pacific-10 Conference accolades in a season that saw him average 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals.

"I want to thank everyone associated with Arizona basketball, especially Coach Olson and Coach Tention," said Arenas. "When I came here two years ago without much recognition, I always thought I'd play here for four years. But after two great years in Tucson, I feel like I'm ready to take the next step and play in the NBA."

Arenas was one of the keys to Arizona's run to the National Championship game. Over the last 23 games of the season, he averaged 17.4 points and 2.5 steals; shot 52.0 percent from the floor and led the team to a 20-3 record in that span. In Pac-10 play alone, he shot 51.9 percent from the floor, including 47.7 percent from three-point range, while averaging 18.0 points per game. He was the NCAA Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player and averaged 14.4 points in UA's six NCAA Tournament games.

He finishes his Arizona career with 1,105 points scored, a figure that ranks 25th in school history. Arenas was just the sixth sophomore in school history to amass more than 1,000 career points in two seasons and his point total ranks third among that group.

Arenas is the fourth Wildcat player to declare for the NBA Draft this season, joining Richard Jefferson, Michael Wright and Jason Gardner. Prior to 2001, only two UA players in the Lute Olson era left school early, Brian Williams (1991) and Mike Bibby (1998).

The 2001 NBA Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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