University of Washington freshman Markelle Fultz confirmed a foregone conclusion Friday when he announced he would enter the NBA draft. Fultz made first-team All-Pac-12 this season and led the conference in scoring at 23.3 points per game, the highest average for a single season in more than 20 years.
“It’s been an honor to play in front of Husky fans and I really appreciate all of the support you guys have given me,” Fultz said in a statement. “After sitting down with my mom and the coaching staff, I’ve made the decision to enter the NBA draft. Although the season hasn’t gone as planned, it’s really truly been a blessing to be here. I’ve learned a lot of lessons on and off the court, especially from coach (Lorenzo) Romar and his coaching staff. I’m always going to be a Husky for life.”
“The last three years of Markelle Fultz’s basketball career have been nothing short of amazing,” said Romar. “He has made one of the quickest improvements of any athlete I’ve seen in a long time. Markelle has decided to enter the draft and we totally support his decision.
“We appreciate him giving his all, on and off the court, while he was part of our program and I will enjoy watching him play for many years to come. Even though he was only here for a short time, I truly believe he will be a Husky for life and that started before he even enrolled at UW as he went and supported our women’s team last year in the postseason in Maryland. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to following what will likely be an exciting career.”
In addition to his scoring average, Fultz averaged 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds while setting the UW freshman scoring record with 579 points. He is the first guard in 25 years to average 20-5-5 and is on the watch lists for numerous national awards ,including the Bob Cousy Award, Naismith Trophy, John R. Wooden Award and the Waymon Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award.
According to many mock drafts, Fultz is a strong candidate to be selected No. 1 overall by the Boston Celtics.