FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior guard Ronnie Brewer announced on Thursday he is submitting his name into the NBA Draft, but he is not hiring an agent, which leaves open the possibility of returning for his senior season. An honorable mention All-American and a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, he averaged 18.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.6 steals in leading the Razorbacks to a 22-10 finish and into the NCAA Tournament. Following is a partial transcript of the press conference.
“First, I want to say this has been a tough decision. I want to thank my parents. They’ve been there with me the whole time. I want to thank my teammates. We’ve come together like a family. I also want to thank Coach (Stan) Heath and the staff. They’ve treated me like I’m still a part of the team. They haven’t bothered me about what I’m going to do. I also want to thank the fans. They support us and stay behind us.
“I feel like I need to do what is best for myself and I’ve decided to put my name in the NBA Draft without hiring an agent.
“There’s no special number (draft position). I’m just going to work hard and test the market. There are a lot of things to look at, like whether or not I’m a lottery pick. If I’m higher (lower in the draft), I might stay.
“It was a very difficult decision to make, but it’s the right decision. That’s why it took so long. I’ve talked to my parents every night and listened to them. I’ve tried to figure out what’s best for me and get different views from my teammates and close friends.
“Every basketball player’s dream is to play in the NBA. It would mean a whole lot to make it to that level. I want to make an impact.
“It won’t hurt me this year to see where I am on the market. I plan on continuing school to get my degree.
“I would say it’s a 50-50 chance right now (leaving for the NBA or returning). I haven’t started working out yet. I want to continue to work hard and get better.
“I could raise my stock if I come back. If I find out I’ll go late in the first round, it wouldn’t be worth keeping my name in.
“We got together last night with Coach Heath. It was difficult to tell him. I was nervous at first, but we have a good relationship and can talk about things. He’s behind me 100 percent.
“I have no regrets after making my decision. My main priority is to get in the top 20. I definitely have to look into it.
“I’m always going to be a Razorback and I’m always going to love the fans. I’m glad we got the program back to the NCAA Tournament where it used to be.”
“It’s a very smart thing to do. He wants to play in the NBA. The rules are made for guys like him – a first-rounder who won’t jeopardize his eligibility. We support him. He will continue to work hard and continue with his education.
“I’m proud of him and his growth physically and mentally. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s a first-round pick.”
Ron Brewer Sr.:
“I’m very proud of him. As a parent, I never predicted that he would take it to this level. He doesn’t understand he’s a very talented young man. He has to go this route. He left open the chance of coming back because he doesn’t have an agent. I want him to take care of business and think like a pro.”
“I’m very proud of his decision. I’ve given him my thoughts and opinions, and the pros and cons. He’s promised he would get his degree. If the workouts don’t work out, he can come back. That’s the plan. I’m behind him 100 percent.”