Williams says he'll return to play at Arizona

Updated: April 27, 2006, 9:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Arizona freshman Marcus Williams, who sources said earlier would enter the NBA draft, will instead remain at Arizona next season, he announced at a news conference Thursday.

The 6-foot-7 forward had strongly considered testing the NBA waters but said at a news conference on Thursday that he decided he needed another season of college basketball to boost his chance of being a high draft pick.

"It came down to me wanting to go into the league and be effective and walk in with a kind of confidence and swagger that I am ready to play at a high level," Williams said.

On Monday, sources told ESPN.com that Williams had decided to enter and would schedule a press conference later this week.

"It was a real juggle back and forth," Williams said. "At a certain point, I didn't feel like [staying] was best for me. Growing up, since you're six years old, this is your dream and it's hard to say no."

Williams later said: "People assumed I was going to from [Nos.] 12 to 20, but like I said I didn't want to go in there and not play. That might have been up in the air. I might have been in a situation where who knows if I'm going to play. I want to come in and play."

Junior point guard Mustafa Shakur of Arizona earlier declared himself available for the NBA's June 28 draft but did not hire an agent, so he could return to Arizona for his senior season this fall.

Underclassmen have until April 29 to declare for the draft.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE NBA HEADLINES

MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM