Missouri guard Gardner signs with agent

Updated: May 18, 2006, 6:51 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri guard Thomas Gardner has signed with an agent, ensuring that he will remain eligible for the NBA draft and not return to school for his senior season.

Gardner, a junior, signed with Los Angeles agents Bill McCandless and Happy Walters of Immortal Sports Entertainment, the agents said Thursday.

The Tigers' leading scorer this past season had previously declared for the draft in March after Tigers coach Quin Snyder resigned but delayed signing with an agent.

"It was a tough decision for me to leave Mizzou," Gardner said in a statement. "I feel like it was the right time for me to pursue my dream to play in the NBA."

The 6-foot-5 Gardner was the Big 12's No. 2 scorer and top 3-point shooter last season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press