UA freshman Jerrett declares for draft

Arizona freshman Grant Jerrett declares for NBA draft in surprise announcement.

In a surprise decision, Arizona freshman Grant Jerrett declared for the NBA draft Wednesday night.

A 6-foot-10, 235-pound forward, Jerrett averaged 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds while making just two starts in his first and only season in Tucson after arriving as a highly touted recruit out of Chino Hills, Calif. Jerrett shot 40.9 percent from the field overall and 40.5 percent from 3-point range.

“Today, with the support of my family, I made the decision to enter the 2013 NBA draft and pursue my lifelong dream of playing professional basketball,” Jerrett said, according to a statement released by the school. “I would like to thank all Wildcat fans, my teammates and coaches for making my year in Tucson an incredible experience.  I will forever be an Arizona Wildcat.”

Jerrett registered season highs of 15 points against Oral Roberts on Dec. 18, 10 rebounds against UCLA on Jan. 24 and six blocks on Jan. 12 at Oregon State. He scored in double figures five times and led the Wildcats with 33 blocks on the season despite coming off the bench behind starters Solomon Hill and Brandon Ashley. With Hill graduating, Jerrett likely would've taken on a significantly increased role next season after averaging just under 18 minutes a game as a freshman.

“I would like to wish Grant well as he pursues his goal of becoming a part of the NBA,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said in the same statement. “Not only is Grant a talented player, but he is an even better person with a wonderful and supportive family.  I look forward to helping him in any way that I can as he moves forward in his basketball career.”

Jerrett is the 15th Arizona player to declare early for the draft and the first since Derrick Williams left early to become the No. 2 overall pick by the Timberwolves in 2011. He cannot withdraw his name from the draft at this point, as the deadline to do so was Tuesday.

The draft will be held June 27 in New York.

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