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UCLA’s T.J. Leaf declares for 2017 NBA draft


Freshman forward T.J. Leaf announced that he will not return to UCLA for a sophomore season, instead declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft. (Austin Yu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Freshman forward T.J. Leaf announced that he will not return to UCLA for a sophomore season, instead declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft. (Austin Yu/Daily Bruin senior staff)


This post was updated March 30 at 6:30 p.m.

UCLA men’s basketball forward T.J. Leaf became the second Bruin freshman to declare for the 2017 NBA draft, making the news official on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon.

Leaf averaged 16.3 points per game as a 19 year old, helping UCLA to a Sweet 16 finish in his lone season in Westwood. The Bruins fell to an overpowering Kentucky Wildcat squad that was out for revenge a week ago.

Freshman guard Lonzo Ball announced immediately after that game that he would be entering the draft. Leaf, while widely anticipated to declare, waited a few days to announce that he intends to sign with an agent.

“TJ had such a great season for us, and I completely support his decision to pursue his dream,” said coach Steve Alford. “I’m proud of what he was able to accomplish this season. He brought so much to our team, both on and off the court, and we’re certainly going to miss him.”

The 6-foot-10-inch standout averaged 16.3 points over the course his year at UCLA and is expected to be selected in the first round of the draft.

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Editor in chief

Walters is the editor in chief of the Daily Bruin and a member of the editorial board. He was previously an assistant editor in the Sports Department. He has covered men's soccer, men's volleyball and men's water polo, including the 2014 NCAA champion team.


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  • Tony George

    Another nail in the coffin of college basketball; and of course the destruction of Leaf’s ability to become a well rounded college educated individual, and ultimately a better pro basketball player. How sad. Stop the NBA now!