UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad announced Tuesday that he will enter the NBA Draft.
Muhammad has been expected to declare for the draft. He needed to drop his classes by April 19 or he would have been given an incomplete, which would have counted against UCLA’s academic progress rate.
While he attended Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, Muhammad was considered among the top two high school players in the nation. He spent one hectic season in Westwood.
That investigation ended in embarrassment for the NCAA after a report that a friend of an NCAA employee involved in the investigation had been overheard on an airplane saying the NCAA would find Muhammad ineligible.
Because the conversation was overheard in August, only eight days after the NCAA first requested information from Muhammad’s family and long before any was received, suspicions shifted to the NCAA and whether its investigators had prejudged Muhammad.
Muhammad battled minor injuries and illness, as well as controversy, throughout the season. There were questions raised about his Gucci backpack, and it was revealed in March that he was 20 years old, not 19.
He still averaged 17.9 points to lead the Bruins. UCLA lost to Minnesota in the second round of the NCAA tournament. -Chris Foster