By MATT DEARMAN
Bulldog sensation and three-time NCAA rebounding champion
Paul Millsap announced at a press conference in the Charles Wyly
Athletic Center on last Tuesday that he will forego his senior season at Tech
and enter the 2006 NBA draft.
Millsap, a junior from Grambling, averaged 13.3 rebounds
per game during the 2005-06 season to become the first
player in history to claim three national rebounding titles.
During the press conference, Millsap said he will be
hiring an agent within the next few weeks in preparation for the draft, which
will take place in June.
After talking with Tech head coach Keith Richard for a
few weeks about the decision, Millsap and Richard decided to make it public and
announced the press conference last Tuesday morning to settle the questions
that had been circulating regarding the superstar forward’s future.
“We talked for the past week or two about what was going
to happen,” Millsap said. “And we decided it was time for me to move on and
pursue my NBA dreams.”
He also stated that his mother, Bettye
Millsap, was always an inspiration for Paul during his high school and college
career, and he wants her to enjoy the life she deserves.
Millsap leaves Tech as the second-leading rebounding in
school history with 1,172 career rebounds, and is seventh on the scoring list
with 1,709 total points. His achievements during his junior season landed
Millsap spots on the first-team All-WAC and WAC All Defensive teams, as well as
winning him four WAC player of the week awards.
Richard was quick to express his gratitude and support
for Millsap’s decision.
“This is not a sad day for me,” Richard said. “It’s a
great day for Paul. I’ve had the privilege of watching him every day for the
past three years, and I’m confident he is going to make it in the NBA next
Richard added that he believes Millsap’s special gift for rebounding will
transfer to the next level.
“He’s done something no one in the history of the NCAA
has ever done,” Richard said. “We accomplished a lot of good things with him
this year, and it’s been a pleasure coaching him.”