One and done: Bamba declares for NBA Draft

Steve Helwick

After just one quick season in Austin, Texas center Mo Bamba has declared for the NBA Draft, announced Tuesday afternoon. Bamba is a projected lottery pick, primarily believed to be selected in the top five.

“After an incredibly rewarding year at The University of Texas, I will not be returning to school as I will be entering the NBA Draft,” Bamba said in a statement.

This decision comes as no surprise, as Bamba has not shied away from his lofty goals of being selected in the upper echelon of the 2018 NBA Draft.

"I want to be one-and-done," Bamba told Bleacher Report in November, prior to his first collegiate game. "I want to be the No. 1 pick. I think of this as career-hunting. If you're a freshman and you get a chance to get a job at a top company, you're going to take that job."

Bamba averaged a 12.9-point, 10.5-rebound double-double in 30 games as a Longhorn. The freshman shattered numerous program block records, tallying 3.7 per game and ranking second in the country in the category. His rim protecting abilities landed him a spot on the All-Big 12 Defensive Team and he also received the honorous selection to the All-Big 12 Second Team.

Head coach Shaka Smart managed to oust blue-bloods Duke and Kentucky in a recruiting battle for the talented five-star freshman from New York. He is the second straight one-and-done in Smart’s program at Texas, following in the footsteps of Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen.

Bamba is slated to become the first top-10 draft pick from Texas since Tristan Thompson was selected fourth overall by the Cavaliers in 2011. The 2018 NBA Draft will be held in the Barclays Center in Bamba’s state of residence on June 21.