Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas is declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft.
The junior forward announced his decision to forgo his senior season Friday afternoon through a university press release.
After helping guide the Buckeyes to an NCAA Tournament run that ended in an Elite Eight loss to Wichita State March 30 in Los Angeles, Thomas said it’s the right time to take his game to the next level.
“My three years at Ohio State have been the best years of my life,” Thomas said in a released statement. “I have grown tremendously as an individual and as a basketball player. I intend to return to finish my degree, but I believe that now is the best opportunity to pursue my dream and begin my career as a professional basketball player.”
After leading OSU and the Big Ten in scoring this season with 19.8 points per game, Thomas was named a third-team Associated Press All-American and a media and coaches first-team All-Big Ten selection.
The Fort Wayne, Ind., native scored 773 points last season, a figure good for the third-most in program history.
OSU coach Thad Matta said lauded Thomas’ career in Columbus.
“To see Deshaun grow into the man he has become has been amazing,” Matta said in a released statement.
“His accomplishments on the floor speak for themselves but I am just as proud of him and what he has done off the floor. We recruited him offering the opportunity to grow as a person and player and that is exactly what happened. I know there is much more in-store for him in the future and I am proud to have been able to coach him.”
According to the release, Thomas will finish out OSU’s Spring Semester while readying himself for the draft, which is set for June 27 at 7 p.m.