Austin Rivers heads to NBA draft

Updated: March 27, 2012, 9:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Austin Rivers is leaving Duke after one season for the NBA draft.

The freshman guard announced his decision and plans to hire an agent on Monday after team officials said he spent the weekend discussing his future plans with his family at their home outside Orlando, Fla.

"I would like to thank the coaches, my teammates and the fans for helping make this past year at Duke so special," Rivers said in a statement released by the university. "It was a difficult decision to leave Duke, but I am excited about chasing my dream of playing in the NBA."

The son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers averaged a team-leading 15.5 points and was a unanimous selection as the Atlantic Coast Conference's rookie of the year. The top highlight of his only college season was a buzzer-beating 3-pointer last month that gave Duke an 85-84 victory at North Carolina.

"Austin had a terrific year as a freshman and has put himself in a position to pursue his dream of being a great player in the NBA," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "We are in total support of Austin, his family and his decision."

Rivers is the fourth player to leave Duke after one season and the second in two years, after Cleveland made Kyrie Irving the No. 1 overall pick of last year's draft.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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