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Rawle Alkins declares for NBA Draft, will hire agent

The Arizona guard is forgoing his final two years of eligibilty

Connecticut v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Wildcats sophomore guard Rawle Alkins has declared for the 2018 NBA Draft and will hire an agent, forgoing his final two years of eligibility, he announced Tuesday on Twitter.

“Although I am leaving UofA, my heart will always be here. I love you guys! You have not seen the last of me ... and as always #SavageLife!” Alkins tweeted.

Alkins’ decision is not a surprise, as the sophomore was honored on Arizona’s Senior Day and head coach Sean Miller later said Alkins was not going to be returning to school in 2018-19.

Alkins averaged 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game as a sophomore. The 6-foot-5 Brooklyn native shot 43 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3, and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

While Alkins’ per-game numbers increased from his freshman year, his shooting percentages dipped.

His sophomore year got off to an unfortunate start, as he broke his foot in late September which resulted in him missing the first nine games of the season. Alkins later missed a few more games after experiencing soreness in his surgically-repaired foot.

Sports Illustrated predicts Alkins will be selected 28th overall by his hometown Brooklyn Nets, though every other major publication pegs him as a second-round pick.

Alkins tested the NBA Draft waters after his freshman season and elected to go through the Combine and a few team workouts, but ultimately chose to return to Arizona after getting feedback from NBA personnel.

But Alkins had already made up his mind that summer that he was going to re-enter the NBA Draft after his sophomore season.

“I got the information I needed to get and learned everything I needed to do,” Alkins said in March during the Pac-12 Tournament.

Alkins departs Arizona as a fan-favorite, known for his fun-loving personality and patented East Coast toughness.

And that dunk against USC.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire