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Podkolzine pulls draft shocker by withdrawing

Updated: June 20, 2003, 11:42 AM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN.com

It's been one crazy, wild ride for 7-foot-5, 300-pound Russian Pavel Podkolzine. On Thursday, Podkolzine cut the trip short by withdrawing his name from the 2003 NBA Draft.

Podkolzine told ESPN.com that he felt he just wasn't ready.

"I don't want to be a project," the 18-year-old Podkolzine said. "I want to prove to NBA teams I am ready now. I will go back to Italy, work very, very hard and come back next year stronger, and more ready to contribute to the team that drafts me."

Podkolzine's ...

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