Sophomore from Lithuania has not hired an agent

Updated: April 23, 2005, 7:27 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri sophomore forward Linas Kleiza, the Tigers' leading scorer and rebounder last season, said Saturday that he will enter the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-8 Lithuanian star averaged 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds last season. He will not hire an agent, leaving his options open for returning for his junior season.

"I appreciate the opportunity that I have been given at Missouri," Kleiza said. "I have had a great experience and I have improved as a player and as a person.

"I will explore professional opportunities while completing the semester at Missouri and maintaining the chance the return to school."

Tigers coach Quin Snyder said he supported Kleiza's decision.

"Linas has expressed to me an interest in exploring professional opportunities," Snyder said. "We wish him the best as he pursues his goals."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE