North Carolina all-America James Worthy became the ninth prominent college player yesterday to decide to leave school and become eligible for the National Basketball Association June 29 draft.
Worthy, a 6-foot-9 junior who led the Tar Heels to the national championship last season, could be the first player selected in the draft, by Los Angeles or San Diego.
"I feel it would be a good opportunity for me to declare (for the NBA) now," Worthy said at a press conference in Charlotte, N.C. "I don't really know what my future holds in my senior year. I could be injured next year. I think this is the best decision I could make."
Worthy said that Ralph Sampson's decision to remain at Virginia did not influence his decision. He also said he didn't feel bad about leaving school because, "I know my coach (Dean Smith) and my teammates are behind me."
Other college players who have announced they will enter the NBA draft are Georgia forward Dominique Wilkins, De Paul forward Terry Cummings, Texas' LaSalle Thompson, San Francisco guard Quintin Dailey, Wichita State forward Cliff Levingston, Boston College guard John Bagley, Ohio State forward Clark Kellogg and Houston guard Rob Williams.
Wichita State's Antoine Carr announced he will stay in school for his senior year.