Junior Sam Dekker leaving Wisconsin for the NBA

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Sam Dekker is a shoo-in to go in the first round, and probably a top-20 pick. (USATSI)

Four days removed from losing in the national title game, Wisconsin junior Sam Dekker has announced he’ll bypass his final season in Madison and instead opt to play in the NBA.

Dekker is unanimously projected as a first-round choice. He’s No. 19 on Sam Vecenie’s prospect rankings here at CBSSports.com.

“These past three years have been the best, most memorable years of my life,” Dekker said in a statement. “Growing up in the state and being able to wear Wisconsin across my chest has been a dream come true. After lots of thoughts and prayers, I’ve decided that it is in my best interest to enter the NBA Draft at this time. It is difficult to leave Madison and the only state I’ve called home, but I’m excited for the next chapter of my life.”

Dekker grew up in Sheboygan, Wisc., and was the second-highest rated prospect in the history of Badgers basketball. (Brian Butch being the most acclaimed prior to getting to campus.) Dekker scored 1,363 points and had 569 career rebounds, the eighth Badger ever to crack 1,000 points and 500 boards.

His 25 points per game in this year’s regionals against UNC and Arizona was the biggest reason Wisconsin got out of the West and into its second straight Final Four. He took home that regiona’s Most Outstanding Player honor. Against Kentucky in the national semifinals, Dekker had 16 points and big shots late to end UK’s undefeated season.

He also does an amazing impression of the video game character Yoshi. This is Dekker with his teammates last weekend in Indianapolis.

Sam Dekker’s incredible Yoshi impresssion.

The 2015 NBA Draft will be held on June 25 in Brooklyn, New York.

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