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North Carolina's McCants Makes It Official, Enters Draft

Thursday, April 14, 2005; Page D02

North Carolina junior Rashad McCants said yesterday he will enter the NBA draft, after helping the Tar Heels win their fourth national championship this season.

McCants, the team's second-leading scorer at 16 points per game, said he was in the process of hiring an agent, a move that would prevent him from returning for his senior season. But he said he would continue working to earn his college degree.

After achieving his goal of helping bring the NCAA national championship trophy to Chapel Hill, Rashad McCants will forgo his senior season for the NBA. (Gerry Broome -- AP)

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McCants said he came back to school after his sophomore season to win a national championship. He also said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan, who helped North Carolina win a national title before leaving for the NBA as a junior.

"I felt like my whole reason for coming back last year was to get those goals accomplished," McCants said at a news conference. "And I did."

McCants's announcement made official a decision that had been expected for more than a week. Less than a day after the Tar Heels beat Illinois, 75-70, in the NCAA final, Coach Roy Williams addressed McCants's future by saying: "We could lose some guys, there's no question about that. And we are going to lose Rashad."

Williams said yesterday that McCants had his "complete support" in jumping to the NBA.

Others might soon follow. Fellow juniors Sean May and Raymond Felton and freshman Marvin Williams also are considering their plans for next season.

Meantime, Indiana guard Bracey Wright said he will forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. The 6-foot-3 junior led the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 18.3 points as the Hoosiers finished 15-14 and missed the NCAA tournament for a second straight year.

-- From News Services

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