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College

It's official: Pitt's Blair turning pro

Kevin Gorman
| Wednesday, April 8, 2009

DeJuan is gone.

Pitt All-America center DeJuan Blair formally announced today that he will forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.

"There's no turning back," said Blair, who started the news conference by sending his condolences to the three City of Pittsburgh police officers killed in Saturday's shootings in Stanton Heights.

Blair said he hasn't signed an agent, "but I will in the next couple weeks." By signing a marketing agreement with Pittsburgh-based lawyer James Cook, however, Blair forfeited his amateur status under NCAA guidelines.

"It was more something that I wanted to do more than money and making a big transition for me and my family. It was a real big decision but I had to do what was right for me. Nobody made the decision but me."

The NBA Draft is June 25 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

The 6-foot-7, 265-pound sophomore, a Schenley High School graduate, averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game this past season and is a finalist for the Wooden Award, which will be presented to the nation's college basketball player of the year Friday night in L.A.

Blair earned Big East Co-Player of the Year and Associated Press first-team All-America honors after leading the Panthers (31-5) to their first-ever No. 1 national ranking and the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in 35 years.

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