Trae Young heading to NBA after 1 year at Oklahoma

Trae Young is moving on to the NBA.

The 19-year-old guard told ESPN that he has decided to leave the University of Oklahoma after one season and declare for the 2018 NBA draft. In his lone season at OU, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Young averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game while shooting 36 percent from three en route to first-team All-American honors.

“I’ve been preparing most of my life to join the NBA, and that time has come for me now: After an unforgettable year at the University of Oklahoma, I will enter the June NBA draft and fully immerse myself in the pursuit of a pro basketball career,” Young told ESPN.

Trae Young (11) averaged 27.4 points per game as a freshman at Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Trae Young (11) averaged 27.4 points per game as a freshman at Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Young exploded onto the scene and drew comparisons to Stephen Curry as his collegiate career — and OU’s season — got off to a tremendous start. The Sooners started the year 14-2 and moved all the way up to No. 4 in the rankings, before losing 11 of 15 down the stretch as teams adjusted their focus to containing Young.

OU squeaked into the NCAA tournament as a No. 10 seed, but lost its opening matchup to Rhode Island, 83-78, in overtime. Young had 28 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the loss. After the loss, Young’s father Raymond told Yahoo Sports he hoped his son would consider returning to OU for his sophomore season. This week, Young told ESPN that when he arrived at OU, he anticipated he would have more than one chance to lead his hometown Sooners deep into the NCAA tournament, but the opportunity to be an NBA lottery pick was too good to pass up for the Norman, Oklahoma, native.

“When I chose OU, I imagined I’d have more than one chance at the NCAA tournament, but things changed and this season became my only opportunity,” he said. “In the end, I have to make the decision that I believe is best for me, but it doesn’t mean I do so without a heavy heart, without some regret that we won’t get to run it back together next season.”

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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