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College

Gray declares for NBA draft

| Thursday, April 27, 2006

As expected, Aaron Gray will test the NBA waters early.

The 7-foot junior center from Pitt, who was chosen an all-Big East Conference selection in his first season as a starter, announced Thursday his plans to enter the June 28 NBA draft without signing with an agent.

By doing so, Gray will keep the option of returning to school for his senior season, provided he withdraws before the June 18 deadline, a move followed last season by teammate Carl Krauser.

Gray said he talked with Pitt coach Jamie Dixon before making his decision, which had been rumored for weeks.

Gray, the only Big East player to average a double-double last season, became the fourth Pitt player to be chosen as the Big East's most improved player and the sixth to make the all-conference first team.

He averaged 13.9 points and led the Big East in rebounding (10.5 rpg.) as Pitt posted a 25-8 record and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Gray also shot 52.6 percent (170 for 323) and led the Panthers with 49 blocked shots.

He is the first Pitt player since Jerome Lane in 1987-88 to average double figures in scoring and rebounding in a season.

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