Wright might return for senior year if not high pick

Updated: April 5, 2005, 6:09 PM ET
Associated Press

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Antoine Wright said Tuesday he plans to forgo his senior year at Texas A&M and is declaring for June's NBA draft.

Wright earned first team All-Big 12 honors after averaging 17.8 points and six rebounds a game this season. He helped Texas A&M to the biggest turnaround in the nation -- going from 7-21 last season to 21-10 this year.

He also led the Aggies to their first postseason berth in more than a decade and two wins in the NIT tournament.

Wright has not hired an agent, which leaves open the possibility for him to withdraw from the draft and return to Texas A&M. He has until June 21 to withdraw.

"If I can't be a high pick, I'll be back next year," he said in a statement. "If I am a high pick, I'll be living a lifelong dream."

He said a goal has been to earn his degree from Texas A&M and he still plans to do that.

"I have grown to love this university and what it has done to help me grow as a basketball player and more importantly as a person," he said. "That made my decision extremely hard."

First-year coach Billy Gillispie said he hates to see Wright go, but supports his decision.

"He's really grown in every aspect in the last year, on and off the court," Gillispie said in a statement. "He's a special one and we'll miss him as a person as much as a player."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press