Pitt freshman center Steven Adams has declared for the NBA draft and intends to sign with an agent, the university announced tonight.
Adams, a 7-foot native of New Zealand, started every game for Pitt this season and averaged 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
"In discussing options with my family and coach [Jamie] Dixon, I feel that it is in my best interest to declare for the NBA Draft," Adams said in a statement released by the university. "I want to thank everyone at Pitt, including my teammates, coaching staff, the administration and the fans, who have all supported me over the last year."
Just after the Panthers were eliminated from the NCAA tournament with a loss to Wichita State on Mar. 21, Adams was adamant about coming back for his sophomore season.
"I'm coming back," Adams said in the locker room after the game. "I don't know why you guys keep asking me that question."
Dixon also said in the days after the NCAA tournament that he expected Adams to return.
Dixon could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night, but he issued the following statement:
"After talking with Steven and his family, we fully support him in this decision. We support him in choosing to pursue his dreams and in having the opportunity to provide for his family back in New Zealand. We will continue to stay involved in the process and he will always be a part of the Pitt basketball family."
Ray Fittipaldo: email@example.com and Twitter @rayfitt1. First Published April 3, 2013 12:45 AM