UAB Athletics released the following statement on UAB junior forward William Lee:
UAB junior forward William Lee announced on Monday that he will submit his name for the 2017 NBA Draft but will not hire an agent.
Lee will have until May 24 to make a final decision whether to remain in the draft or return to UAB for his senior season. The NBA Draft Combine will take place May 9-14. Players who have not hired agents will have 10 days following that opportunity to make a final decision as to whether to forgo their athletic eligibility or return to school.
“UAB has provided me with an unbelievable opportunity to play college basketball against some of the best players and teams in the nation,” Lee said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA, and this decision allows me to safely see where I am projected at this point in my career without jeopardizing my last year of eligibility.”
A 6-foot-9 forward from Plantersville, Ala., Lee served as both the offensive and defensive catalyst for the Blazers last season. He led UAB with 13.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and ranked 20th and 11th in Conference USA, respectively. Lee scored in double figures in all but four of UAB’s 18 league games and featured three games in which he finished with at least 20 points.
Defensively, Lee ended the season with 80 blocks to lead the league and rank 20th in the NCAA with 2.4 per game. He posted eight games with at least four blocks and recorded only three games all season in which he did not block at least one shot. Lee is on pace to become UAB’s all-time leader in shot blocks and will enter the 2017-18 season 10th all-time in Conference USA history.
“HaHa has improved his game in several different areas since his freshman season and has shown he possesses the skill set to be successful at the next level,” UAB head coach Robert Ehsan said. “For HaHa to have this opportunity after his junior year is great for him personally and our program. UAB has such a rich basketball tradition and history of sending players to the NBA, so it’s exciting for us to see HaHa explore a lifelong goal of his and continue a trend of Blazers playing at the next level.”
Lee was awarded at the end of the season with his second consecutive selection as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Blazer to even win twice and the first repeat winner since Joey Dorsey of Memphis accomplished the feat in 2007 and 2008. Lee was also selected to the All-Conference USA Second Team and All-Defensive Team.
The 2017 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22 and its location has yet to be determined.
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