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.

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Oklahoma basketball star Trae Young
WICHITA, KS - DECEMBER 16: Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young (11) during the college mens basketball game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Wichita State Shockers on December 16, 2017 at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WICHITA, KS - DECEMBER 16: Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young (11) during the college mens basketball game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Wichita State Shockers on December 16, 2017 at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Trae Young #11 of the Oklahoma Sooners drives between Elijah Stewart #30 and Chimezie Metu #4 of the USC Trojans as Khadeem Lattin #3 looks on in an 85-83 Sooner win during the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at Staples Center on December 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08: Trae Young #11 of the Oklahoma Sooners drives on Jonah Mathews #2 of the USC Trojans in an 85-83 Sooner win during the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at Staples Center on December 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 26: Troy Brown #0 of the Oregon Ducks and Trae Young #11 of the Oklahoma Sooners battle for a loose ball as Khadeem Lattin #3 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks on during the first half of the game during the PK80-Phil Knight Invitational presented by State Farm at the Moda Center on November 26, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Oklahoma won the game 90-80. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 15: Trae Young (11) of the Oklahoma Sooners drives to the basket against Trey Moses (24) of the Ball State Cardinals during the Oklahoma Sooners against the Ball State Cardinals at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Ok. (Photo by Richard Rowe/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 15: Trae Young (11) of the Oklahoma Sooners drives to the basket against Ishmael El-Amin (5) of the Ball State Cardinals during the Oklahoma Sooners against the Ball State Cardinals at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Ok. (Photo by Richard Rowe/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 26: Trae Young #11 of the Oklahoma Sooners tries to get around Mikyle McIntosh #22 of the Oregon Ducks during the first half of the game during the PK80-Phil Knight Invitational presented by State Farm at the Moda Center on November 26, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 15: Trae Young (11) of the Oklahoma Sooners dribbles up court during the Oklahoma Sooners against the Ball State Cardinals at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Ok. (Photo by Richard Rowe/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 15: Trae Young (11) of the Oklahoma Sooners dribbles up court during the Oklahoma Sooners against the Ball State Cardinals at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Ok. (Photo by Richard Rowe/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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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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