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Arizona freshman Zeke Nnaji confirms he’s entering NBA Draft


It was reported Saturday that Arizona Wildcats freshman Zeke Nnaji will be entering the 2020 NBA Draft, and Tuesday he made it officially telling ESPN that he has “submitted the required paperwork to the league office.”

“Ever since 4th grade I have had the dream of playing professional basketball in the NBA,” Nnaji told ESPN in an email.

Meanwhile, Evan Daniels of 247Sports is reporting that Nnaji is signing with Pensack Sports Management Group. Every major outlet projects Nnaji will be selected in the late first round or early second round.

It could be difficult for Nnaji to boost his stock further than that as the the pre-draft process will be severely limited this year due to the coronavirus crisis. But Nnaji told ESPN that “whatever the process looks like, I will definitely be ready.”

”My preparation will consist of an assortment of drills and workouts to work on skill development and continuing to get stronger,” he told ESPN. “I feel good about the year I had at Arizona and I’m continuing to work on some of the things I wasn’t asked to do as much at Arizona, such as 3-point shooting. I won the 3-point contest at the Iverson Classic in high school and I think I’m still underrated as a perimeter shooter. I only took a few 3’s this year but I made a few of them and I was almost 80% from the line too. My shot feels really good so I believe I will surprise people with my shooting ability throughout this process. I’m also doing my schoolwork online so I can finish this semester on a high note.”

Nnaji was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in his lone season with the Wildcats, averaging an efficient 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, exceeding expectations after entering the program as a four-star recruit and the least heralded among UA’s three freshman starters.

“Coach Sean Miller is a leader and I thank him and his staff for taking a chance on a little known kid from Minnesota,” Nnaji said on Twitter.

“To my teammates: You guys pushed me both in the weight room and on the court. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to battle with. Adversity they say builds character. All the nuggets I picked up from battling with y’all with stay with me forever.

“Tucson: You guys welcomed me with open arms. There is NO BETTER FAN BASE and electric atmosphere. Your knowledge of the game is unmatched. I will miss McKale Center always.”