UCLA's Love says he's headed to the NBA

Updated: April 18, 2008, 12:56 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA's Kevin Love is NBA-bound.

The All-American freshman announced Thursday that he'll skip his final three college seasons and enter the NBA draft.

Love led the Bruins in scoring (17.5 points) and rebounds (10.6) on the way to a 35-win season and a trip to the Final Four, where UCLA lost to Memphis.

"I'm in the right spot to take my game to the next level," Love told the Los Angeles Times.

He described his time at UCLA as the best year of his life. "It has truly been special," he said.

Fresh on the heels of Love's announcement, sophomore guard Russell Westbrook also declared for the NBA draft, the Times reported.

The newspaper, citing a UCLA men's basketball spokesman, said junior forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is expected to announce whether he will enter the draft by the weekend.

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Meanwhile, guard Darren Collision is still weighing whether to declare for the draft or come back for his senior season, according to the newspaper.

His mother, June, said her son "has 10 more days to make a decision, and, knowing Darren, that's what he'll do: take all 10 days. He's very methodical in his decision-making."

Love made the announcement at a campus news conference Thursday afternoon, joined by his father, Stan Love and UCLA coach Ben Howland.

Howland told the Times Love would never have attended UCLA if he hadn't been barred from bolting for the NBA straight out of high school.

"I'm not complaining about the problem of guys that are good enough to leave early, it just makes it difficult to plan for the future," Howland told the paper.

Scouts have projected Love to be a top-10 pick in the June 26 draft, according to Howland.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.