Ridnour to Sign with Law Firm, Forgo His Senior Year

May 13, 2003

EUGENE, Ore. - Junior guard Luke Ridnour announced Tuesday that he will sign with a law firm and forgo his senior season at Oregon. Ridnour said he plans on signing Wednesday with Washington, D.C. law firm Williams & Connolly, LLP and will be represented by lawyers Lon Babby and Jim Tanner.

'I prayed a lot and it felt like the right time to make this decision,' said Ridnour, who will use the next six weeks to work out for teams prior to the June 26 NBA Draft. 'I think the Lord has a plan for me and this is part of it. It's time for me to do this.'

Despite the opportunity to play in the NBA, the 6-2 native of Blaine, Wash., said it was a difficult choice to skip his senior season at Oregon. 'I want everyone in Eugene to know how hard this decision was,' said Ridnour. 'I had a lot of fun at the University of Oregon and I'm really going to miss it. I hope the fans realize how much I appreciate the way they supported the team whether we were good or bad. Playing at Mac Court, I had the greatest time of my life.'

Ridnour, an Associated Press honorable mention All-American, became just the second player ever to be named Pac-10 regular season player of the year and tournament MVP. He ranked second in the Pac-10, scoring 19.7 points per game, and led the league with 6.6 assists per game.

He set school and Pac-10 records with 62 consecutive free throws made in January and February. He set an Oregon record with 218 assists this season and tied another with 63 steals. On the UO career lists, he ranks ninth in scoring with 1,399 points, third in assists with 500, second in steals with 150 and third in three-pointers with 203.

'With coach (Ernie) Kent's help, I've been able to get an idea of where I might be chosen in the draft,' Ridnour said. 'You never know for sure, but I feel pretty good that I'll go somewhere in the first round.'

Williams & Connolly, LLP currently represents Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, Shane Battier and Andre Miller among NBA players, as well as the WNBA's Chamique Holdsclaw.

'They represent some quality guys with good character who have had a lot of success in their careers so I felt comfortable choosing them,' Ridnour said.

Ridnour will become just the second University of Oregon basketball player to leave early for the NBA. Terrell Brandon left the University in 1991 after his junior season (when he was also named Pac-10 player of the year) and was chosen 11th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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