SEATTLE — Washington guard Isaiah Thomas announced Thursday he’s forgoing his senior season with the Huskies and entering the NBA draft and will not return to school no matter what happens.
Thomas has yet to hire an agent, but at the beginning of a conference call with reporters said, “yes, it is a goodbye.”
It was a surprising decision by the junior, who in the moments after the Huskies lost to North Carolina in the third round of the NCAA tournament indicated he planned to return for his final season on Montlake.
Instead, the talented, undersized guard is going to take his shot at the next level. Thomas said it doesn’t matter what the NBA talent evaluators say.
“Although it was a tough decision, I have decided to forgo my senior season and enter my name into this year’s NBA draft. At this time I will not hire an agent,” Thomas said in a statement released by the school. “Over the past three years I’ve enjoyed every single minute of my Washington Husky career. I am very thankful to have played for a great coach like coach (Lorenzo) Romar and our entire coaching staff.”
He was a two-time All-Pac-10 first-team selection and was in the running for player of the year honors in the conference before Arizona pulled away to win the regular-season title behind forward Derrick Williams.
But Thomas saved some of his best play for the end of the year, especially in the Pac-10 tournament, where he played 123 of a possible 125 minutes in three games and hit the game-winning shot in overtime to beat Arizona 79-77 in the conference title game.
It was Washington’s second consecutive Pac-10 tournament title and Thomas was named the most outstanding player. He was also an honorable mention AP All-American selection and finished the year averaging 16.8 points and 6.1 assists for the Huskies.
“Isaiah Thomas has had an unbelievable impact on our program during his time with us,” coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement. “We will definitely miss him, but we are behind him in his quest to fulfill a lifelong dream to play in the NBA.”
Thomas has until May 8 to return to school as long as he doesn’t hire an agent. In his statement, Thomas said he’s two quarters short of graduating from Washington and intends on getting his degree.
Thomas concluded his junior season at Washington sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list, third in assists and third in 3-pointers made.