Gonzaga's Sabonis declares for draft
SPOKANE, WASH. >> Gonzaga sophomore Domantas Sabonis will skip the rest of his college career and has declared for the NBA draft.
Sabonis, 19, said Thursday that he is exploring his future options without hiring an agent at this time.
The son of former NBA star Arvydas Sabonis, Domantas is Gonzaga's all-time leader in career field goal percentage at .632.
The 6-foot-11 forward was an honorable mention on AP's All-America list this season after averaging 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
"This has been a very difficult decision for me because of the amazing two years I have had at Gonzaga," Sabonis said in a new release. "I want to thank the coaching staff, my teammates, and all of our great fans for making this such an incredible experience for me."
In just two seasons, he scored 1,002 points to become the 41st player in school history to score 1,000 points. He grabbed 694 rebounds.
"(Domantas) is as impressive of a person and player as I've ever coached," coach Mark Few said. "He has an insatiable desire to get better."
In his two seasons with Gonzaga, the Bulldogs advanced to the Elite Eight in 2015 and the round of 16 this season.
The Bulldogs leaned heavily on Sabonis after a season-ending back injury to center Przemek Karnowski, and the native of Lithuania responded with a huge season.
He averaged 19.7 points and 14.3 rebounds in Gonzaga's three games in this year's NCAA Tournament. It was the highest rebounding average of any player who appeared in at least two games.
Sabonis had 23 double-doubles this season and his 426 rebounds were the most by a Zags player since the program joined Division I in 1958.
Sabonis became the fifth Gonzaga player to leave school early, joining Paul Rogers (1997), Adam Morrison (2006), Austin Daye (2009) and Kelly Olynyk (2013). Morrison, Daye and Olynyk became first-round picks.
Gonzaga will also lose forward Kyle Wiltjer, who averaged 20.4 points, to graduation. And it is unclear if the 7-foot-1 Karnowski will try to return to the Zags or pursue professional opportunities.
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