Fighting Illini’s Meyers Leonard Declares For NBA

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois sophomore center Meyers Leonard has announced he will declare for the 2012 NBA draft.

Leonard averaged 14 points, eight rebounds for the Fighting Illini. His average of two blocked shots last season led the Big Ten. The graduate of Robinson High School in southeastern Illinois earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

In a statement, Leonard said it was a very difficult decision, but he believes the timing is right for him to follow his dream of playing in the NBA.

“I feel the timing is right for me to follow my dream of playing in the NBA and having the opportunity to provide for my mom and family,” he said.

Illinois hasn’t had a first round NBA Draft pick since Deron Williams and Dee Brown in 2005. Williams plays for the New Jersey Nets. Brown was waived by the Dallas Mavericks in 2010.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • tom sharp

    He was loser here and he’ll be one there too! No way he plays any significant minutes. What a fool!

  • PackerBacker

    Way too immature. He will get eaten alive by the NBA.

  • Joe

    This kid is so not ready for the NBA.

  • Mr Pouty Pants

    He will be just fine once he gets on an NBA training program. This is an athletic 7 footer that has made massive progress in just one year. I would take him over Sullinger any day.

  • Nick

    dee brown didn’t enter the draft in 2005.

  • Markie Maypo

    and so, this will be the last we ever hear about Meyers Leonard. He won’t make it in the NBA. He was to mentally fragile at ILLINOIS! What makes him think he can take what the NBA is going to throw at him. He is FAR to immature and doesn’t even know how to play his position. He hasn’t had this 7’1″ frame for very long, and doesn’t know how to use it. He’ll never amount to anything, and the sad thing is, he SHOULD be great!

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