Mizzou’s Jordan Clarkson chooses to enter NBA draft
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mizzou Basketball’s Jordan Clarkson announced on Monday that he will forgo his final collegiate season and make himself eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft.
A junior from San Antonio, Texas, Clarkson ranked second on the club, scoring 17.5 points per game, while also leading the team with 3.4 assists per night. A Second Team All-SEC selection by the league coaches, Clarkson reached double figures in 34-of-35 games, including a career high 31 points in a home victory against Southern Illinois.
He was second on the team with 14 20-point scoring efforts, including a stretch of five consecutive 20-point games in non-conference play, which was highlighted by 25 points vs. West Virginia and 21 in the home win over UCLA.
“It’s been a challenging few months for Jordan and his family, but I am so proud of the way he has handled adversity and has really grown, not just as a basketball player, but as a young man,” Head Coach Frank Haith said. “Jordan is a young man we can all be proud of. He is set to graduate from Mizzou this spring and has embraced this university and this community. While I hate to see him go, I hope he knows he will always have a home here at Mizzou.”
Clarkson also addressed the Mizzou community with an open letter:
A Letter From Jordan Clarkson To Mizzou Nation
I’d like to begin by saying how humbled and appreciative I am to the University of Missouri and the City of Columbia for the warm reception I received in 2012, when I arrived after transferring from the University of Tulsa.
Everyone associated with Mizzou, the coaches, my teammates, administration and fans welcomed me in with open arms and afforded me the opportunity to continue my dream of getting an education and playing basketball at such a prestigious university. Words simply cannot express the gratitude I feel towards Coach Haith for bringing me into this program and helping me leave this spring as a University of Missouri graduate!
I also want to thank my teammates for the warm reception I received when I first arrived. I hope they were able to learn as much from me as I learned from them. It’s a fantastic group of guys and a group that will make Tiger Nation proud, not only with their play on the court, but their love for our great university.
With that being said, I wanted to write this letter to our fans to let you know personally that I have decided to forgo my senior year at Missouri and enter the 2014 NBA draft. It wasn’t an easy decision. I have so much respect for everyone here and the impact you have made on my life has been immense. However, it is a decision that I’ve thought through and discussed with my family on numerous occasions. Having their full support makes this decision much easier.
I will miss the University of Missouri, the coaching staff, basketball program and Columbia. Mizzou will always have a special place in my heart and I will always cherish the memories, maturity and the experiences I gained while playing basketball for Mizzou.