UConn 7-footer to return for sophomore season

Updated: April 26, 2007, 1:40 PM ET
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Center Hasheem Thabeet will return to UConn for his sophomore season instead of declaring for the NBA draft.

The 7-foot-3 native of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, talked with coach Jim Calhoun before making his decision.

"I am very excited about next season and returning to UConn for my sophomore year," Thabeet said in a release. "I look forward to continuing my education as a person and as an athlete. We have all been working very hard since the season ended and will continue doing everything we can to get better each day and have a great season next year."

Calhoun had said Thabeet would benefit from another year in college. Most draft analysts had him going late in the first or early in the second round.

Thabeet averaged 6.2 points and 6.4 rebounds as a freshman. He also blocked 118 shots, and was selected for the Big East all-rookie team.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press