Duke wing Justise Winslow is declaring for the NBA Draft, the school announced on Tuesday.
“We’re very happy for Justise and his family,” said coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He had a sensational year, both on and off the court. He was an amazing factor for our success in winning the national championship. From everything we have found out, Justise is projected to be a high lottery pick and we believe that to be true. This is a great time to take advantage of this opportunity. We’re behind him all the way and love him and his family.”
Winslow gave a statement for the press release, as well.
“This year at Duke University, my dreams and aspirations have literally come true,” said Winslow. “Since I was a kid in third grade playing for the Houston Jaguars, I envisioned one day playing at the collegiate level and winning a championship. If you fast forward 10 years and my dream became a reality. The friendships and relationships I’ve formed with those a part of the Duke and Durham community have been even better than winning the National Championship. With that being said, my family and I have decided that I should declare for the NBA draft this year. Considering the success and growth that I have experienced over this past year as a player and as a person, I believe it is time to take the next step on my career path and play at the highest level.”
He also left a message on Instagram about the decision with a photo of he, Krzyzewski, Grayson Allen and Amile Jefferson watching “One Shining Moment” on stage at the Final Four.
“I would like to thank Duke University for allowing me to be a part of such a prestigious institution where I have learned more about myself inside and outside of the classroom than I ever thought I could. I would like to thank the students of Duke University for allowing me to develop my character and be myself without any judgment. You all have made this year extremely entertaining. I would like to thank Coach K and the rest of the coaching staff for helping me become a better player mentally and physically. I would like to thank the entire Duke Basketball Program for accepting me with open arms and caring for me unconditionally. Lastly, I would like to thank my teammates who over the course of this past year have become my best friends, my brothers, and NATIONAL CHAMPIONS. Duke University will forever be in heart and I am proud to say that I am DUKE BLUE DEVIL for life.”
Winslow is considered a potential top-five pick in the draft, and is currently the fifth overall player on my draft board. He’s the 34th underclassman to declare for the 2015 NBA Draft.