Star forward officially forgoes senior year

Stanford star Josh Childress has hired an agent and will not return to school, an option he left as a possibility when he first declared himself eligible for the NBA draft in late March.

Childress, the Pac-10 Player of the Year this season, has hired Lon Babby and Jim Tanner of Williams & Connolly. They also represent NBA players Tim Duncan, Shane Battier and Grant Hill among others.

Childress formally announced his intention to turn pro Friday. The 6-foot-8, 205-pound forward from Los Angeles has been projected as a top-10 pick in the June 24 draft.

"I've done my research and figured out that this is the best
decision," he said Friday. "The amount of positive feedback I've
been getting made it a lot easier to jump in with both feet."

Childress already has worked out for four teams with picks in
the top 10 in the June 24 draft, including the expansion Charlotte
Bobcats, who have the fourth pick.

"I can't recall a player getting better feedback in terms of the quality of his performance on the court and the quality of person he is," Babby said. "I've been doing this long enough not to make predictions, but we all feel confident that Josh has a chance to go at a very high level."

Childress missed the season's first nine games with a left foot injury, then averaged 15.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks the rest of the way.

"I really cherished my years here at Stanford. But I owe it to myself," he told the AP in March of his decision to forgo his senior season. "I put myself in the position to see where I stand
and hopefully [fans] understand that. I want to see how I stack up
against the other players."

Childress said he would complete his sociology degree at Stanford at some point.

The Cardinal won their first 26 games this past season and finished the regular season ranked No. 1 with a 29-1 mark. They were knocked out in the second round of the NCAA tournament by Alabama.

Two weeks ago, coach Mike Montgomery left the school after 18 seasons as head coach to become the new coach of the Golden State Warriors. He was replaced by Nevada's Trent Johnson last week.

Aside from Childress, the Cardinal lose senior starting forward Justin Davis, starting guard Matt Lottich and reserve forward Joe Kirchofer.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.