[ 2007-06-20 09:02 ]
These recent handout
photos from their respective schools and teams show NBA Draft basketball
prospects from left; Al Horford, Florida; Quinton Hosley, Fresno State;
James Hughes, Northern Illinois; Dominic James, Marquette; and Yi
Jianlian, China. [AP]
China's Yi Jianlian was among only six international players applying for
early entry into the National Basketball Association Draft not to withdraw from
the process, the league announced.
NBA officials said 32 US college
players and six global early entry hopefuls were among those who did not
withdraw by a Monday deadline while 46 others, 19 of them global prospects,
pulled out of the annual talent allocation process.
Yi, a forward for China's
Guandong Southern Tigers, led his team to titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006 before
losing to Bayi in this year's finals. He averaged 24.9 points, 11.5
rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots a game this past season.
In addition to the 19-year-old Chinese Olympian, global early entry prospects
include Finland's Petteri Koponen, Italy's Marco Belinelli, Brazil's Ralfi Silva
Ansaloni, Bosnia's Stanko Barac and Ukraine's Kyrylo Fesenko.
US college prospects leaving school early for NBA careers include Greg Oden
of Ohio State, the likely number one pick; Texas playmaker Kevin Durant and
Joakim Noah, the son of French tennis star Yannick Noah and a two-time US
college champion with Florida.
This year's NBA Draft will be staged on June 28 in New York.
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