FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas basketball sophomore Olu Famutimi will make himself available for the 2005 NBA Draft, but he has not hired an agent.
By not signing with an agent, the Flint, Mich., native has until June 21 to remove his name from consideration for the June 28 draft and retain his college eligibility.
“I have decided to explore the option of entering the NBA Draft,” Famutimi says. “My goal is to see where I stand and work toward my dream. I have not hired an agent, which leaves open the opportunity to return to the University of Arkansas.”
The guard/forward had a solid 2005 season for the Razorbacks, improving in all areas over his 2004 numbers with averages of 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, a .438 field goal percentage, a .393 three-point percentage and a .673 free throw mark. He also averaged 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal per game. He helped Arkansas improve from 12 wins in 2003 to an 18-12 mark this year.
He earned honorable mention freshman All-America honors from Rivals.com and SEC all-freshman honors in 2004 by averaging 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds, and shooting 36.3 percent overall, 23.5 percent on threes and 64.4 percent at the line.
“Olu and I have discussed his intention of entering his name into the NBA Draft,” UA head coach Stan Heath says. “His goal and dream is to someday play in the NBA. We will assist him throughout this process. Olu is an outstanding young man and he has my support 100 percent.”
A McDonald’s and Parade All-American in high school, Famutimi averaged 25.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals as a senior at Northwestern High School. During his senior season, he suffered a right knee injury which affected his play his freshman season at Arkansas.
The 2005 NBA Draft has two rounds with 60 total selections.
Last year, the Razorbacks lost signee Al Jefferson to the NBA. The 6-10, 265-pound forward from Prentiss, Miss., signed with Arkansas during the early signing period but never made it to Fayetteville. The Boston Celtics chose Jefferson with the 15th pick in the first round.
The most recent early entry from Arkansas to leave after actually playing for the Hogs is Phoenix Suns guard/forward Joe Johnson. The Little Rock native earned freshman All-America honors in 2000 after averaging 16.0 points and 5.7 rebounds and helping Arkansas win the Southeastern Conference Tournament. In 2000, he averaged 14.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in helping Arkansas reach the NCAA Tournament for the second time in his two years. Johnson was taken with the No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, also by Boston, and traded to Phoenix during his rookie season.