Sunday, April 23, 2006
Updated: April 24, 9:31 AM ET
O'Bryant declares for draft, doesn't hire agent
ESPN.com news services
Patrick O'Bryant helped Bradley make it to the Sweet 16 last month. Now he's hoping to make it to the NBA.
O'Bryant announced Saturday that he has declared for the June 28 NBA draft. However, he has not yet hired an agent, meaning he has until 10 days before the draft to opt out and maintain his college eligibility.
O'Bryant's stepfather, Jesse Gadison, told the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star that that the 7-foot sophomore had declared for the draft 10 days ago.
"We were asked by the Bradley coaches to wait until after the [postseason] banquet to announce it," Gadison told the newspaper. "His mom and I are so proud of him and 100 percent behind him. We've been bombarded with information the last few months and it's been very stressful.
"We've tried to keep Patrick out of the loop because they were making their NCAA run. But this is what he wants to do, and we support him," he said.
Gadison told the Journal Star that over the past few months that he has had discussions with 20 to 30 agents hoping to represent O'Bryant and has eliminated many of them from consideration.
"It will come down to who Patrick likes and can work with," he said.
O'Bryant, who averaged 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks last season, told the Journal Star that his goal is to be a lottery pick. He said the only way he would return to Bradley is if he suffered an injury or if he wasn't happy with his draft projection.
"This is a lifelong dream, to play in the NBA," O'Bryant told the newspaper. "It came around earlier than I expected. I was thinking I'd be doing this in 2008.
"Publicity is high right now and my stock is so high right now, you've got to go with it," he said.
The 2006 Missouri Valley Conference defensive player of the year averaged 2.9 blocked shots per game. He has until June 18 to withdraw his name if he does not sign with an agetn.