- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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Auburn guard Adam Harrington closed his college career on Friday by signing with an agent, thus foregoing his senior season in preparation for the 2002 NBA draft.
"It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA, and the feedback has been extremely positive," Harrington said. "This decision has been very tough for me, but I now feel I have a great opportunity to make my dream come true.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Harrington averaged 10.1 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. He made a team-high 52 three-pointers this past season. He did come off the bench to lead the Tigers in scoring in the last five regular season games, averaging 15.0 points during that span.
"We are here to help our people be successful, and Adam has a great opportunity," Auburn head coach Cliff Ellis said. "Although we will miss him, we are very happy for him. The feedback that he has received and we have received from the professional ranks has been extremely positive about his opportunity. I am appreciative of the fact that Adam plans to get his degree, and he will always be a part of our family."
As a sophomore in 2000-01, Harrington averaged 15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists and was named to the coaches All-SEC third team. He shot 41 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range and made a team-high 72 three-pointers. He ranked eighth in the SEC in scoring, fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3) and ninth in free throw percentage (.713).
"I love Auburn and will miss the University, my teammates, coaches and friends I have made at Auburn," Harrington said. "I will always be a part of Auburn. I will graduate and cannot wait to be an alumnus from Auburn University. I am truly appreciative of the support I have received from everyone on this decision."
The 2002 NBA draft has two rounds with 58 combined picks. Harrington is the fourth Auburn underclassman to declare for the NBA draft and the second in two years as sophomore point guard Jamison Brewer was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round (41st pick) of the 2001 draft.
The two other Tigers to declare early were Charles Barkley, the fifth overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984, and Mike Jones, a third round pick (63rd overall) by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1988.
Live coverage of NBA Draft 2002 in New York City at The Theater at Madison Square Garden will start at 7 p.m. ET (TNT; ESPN Radio) on June 26.
Jason Williams changed his name, but it's another three-letter word that is getting all the attention in 2002.