STORRS, Conn. -- Emeka Okafor is headed to the NBA, leaving the University of Connecticut with everything he wanted when he arrived three years ago: a degree and an NCAA championship.
The All-America center announced yesterday he'll skip his final year of college eligibility and enter June's NBA draft.
"When I was first walking on campus and wondering what I was doing in Connecticut," said Okafor, who grew up in Houston, "I didn't know that the best three years of my life were going to happen.
"When I look back and just see how things turn out, you see a smile right here. That says it all."
The 6-foot-10-inch junior is one of four players in UConn history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, and he blocked a Huskies-record 441 shots.
He finished his college career with 24 points and 15 rebounds in the national title game against Georgia Tech, earning the Most Outstanding Player award at the Final Four.
Okafor won national player of the year awards from the National Association of Basketball Coaches and Sports Illustrated. Okafor is the second UConn underclassman to declare for the NBA draft this week, joining junior guard Ben Gordon.