Stanford's Jason Collins Declares For The NBA Draft

May 7, 2001

Stanford, Ca - Jason Collins, Stanford's second leading scorer and leader in rebounds and blocked shots, announced on Monday his intention to enter the 2001 National Basketball Association draft.

Many NBA experts consider Collins to be one of the most talented centers in the nation.

'I had a great time at Stanford both on and off the basketball court,' stated Collins. 'The university has given me an incredible opportunity to develop as a basketball player and to obtain a first-rate education. I would especially like to thank coach Mike Montgomery and all the Stanford assistants for their guidance over the past four years, as well as all of my teammates at Stanford.'

The 7-foot, 260-pound junior center made a big impact during the 2000-01 season. Collins averaged 14.5 points (#11 in the Pac-10) and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds per game (#4 in the Pac-10). Jason shot a team-leading .613 from the floor, third-best in the conference. Collins also led the team in blocks (43). Stanford chalked up a 31-3 record, won the Pac-10 title and advanced to the NCAA 'Elite Eight.'

'I have decided that now is the time to take on a this new challenge,' declared Collins. 'For a basketball player, the ultimate challenge is to play and succeed in the NBA. After a great deal of thought and discussions with family members and friends, I have decided to test the waters in the 2001 NBA draft.'

Jason has until June 20 to withdraw his name from the draft-eligible list and, by not signing with an agent, he could return to college without losing eligibility.

For his career, Jason is shooting a school record .608, and ranks third all-time in blocks (89).

'As I take on this exciting challenge, I would like to thank my mother Portia, my father Paul, my brother Jarron and my entire family for all of their love and support. I especially look forward to playing in the NBA with my brother Jarron.'

Following this season, Jason was named first team All Pac-10, third-team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Honorable Mention All-America by Associated Press, first team NABC District-14, and named Pete Newell NABC Big Man of the Year.

'Finally, education is very important to me and my family,' stressed Collins. 'If I decide to leave school to enter the NBA, I will leave Stanford with a college degree which I will obtain in June of 2001. Additionally, should I choose to withdraw my name from consideration in the 2001 NBA draft, I will continue my studies in Stanford's graduate program and play in one of this nation's best collegiate basketball programs.'

Jason enjoyed his best game of his Stanford career with 33 points (13-for-14 from the floor), eight rebounds, five assists and four steals against the Washington Huskies this year. Jason tallied a career-high 15 rebounds in Stanford's 84-83 victory over NCAA champion Duke at the Pete Newell Challenge last December.

Quotes from Jason Collins

'I had a great time at Stanford. The university has given me a great opportunity to develop as a basketball player and to gain a first-rate education.'

'I have decided that now is the time to take on a this new challenge. As a basketball player, the ultimate challenge is to play in the NBA. After a great deal of thought and discussions with family members and friends, I have decided to enter the 2001 NBA draft.'

'While it would be an honor to be a high draft pick, I am not overly concerned about my draft position. My primary hope from the draft is that I end up in a good situation with the right team. I am excited about the opportunity to improve my game while competing at basketball's highest level.'

'As I look forward to possibly beginning a professional basketball career, I would like to thank a few people who have helped make this big step possible. I especially would like to thank my mother and father, my brother and my entire family for all of their love and support. My teammates also deserve my thanks. It was a great experience playing at Stanford and developing many great friendships that will carry on past by playing days.'

'I would also like to thank Coach Mike Montgomery for his guidance over the past four years at Stanford. I will always be thankful to Coach Montgomery for giving me the opportunity to attend Stanford and teaching me so much about the game of basketball.'

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