As expected, Syracuse Orange sophomore Dion Waiters will forgo the final two years of his college career to take on the NBA.
"I've decided to pursue my dream of becoming a professional basketball player by entering my name in the NBA Draft this spring,’’ Waiters said in a statement released by Syracuse University’s athletic communications department. "I plan on signing with an agent.’’
"I want to thank my coaches and my teammates,’’ Waiters said. "I've had an amazing experience at Syracuse University. I also want to thank all the Syracuse basketball fans. They are the best in college basketball."
Waiters leaves Syracuse despite never starting a game for the Orange, though he accomplished more than many in a "supporting" role. He won the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award this season and was generally considered the best player on the team for most of the year.
In 24.2 minutes a game, Waiters was second on the team in scoring with 12.7 PPG. A bench player in name-only, Waiters was a large part of why SU went 34-3, won the Big East regular season title and made it to the Elite 8.
As I said yesterday, it's a no-brainer for Waiters to leave. He's being rated as first-round talent by many folks and that's enough to make anyone take the chance. His "life long dream" isn't to win a national title at Syracuse. Yes, I'm sure he would love to do that and I don't doubt his sincerity to have wanted it this year, but that's not what he imagined himself doing when he was a kid on the basketball courts in Philadelphia. It was to play in the NBA. It was to win NBA World Championships. It was to make enough money to take care of his entire family. You can't do any of those things at Syracuse.
Naturally, the Retweetpocalypse has begun as Syracuse fans and 14-year-old girls who would like to have a slumber party with Dion are chiming in and Dion is chiming right back. If you've been waiting for a good time to tell Dion he plays like Dwyane Wade or that he's your favorite player or that he's attractive or that you live in Arizona and would like acknowledgement for that fact...now's the time.
Thanks Dion, it was a brief but brilliant ride. I don't know how humble you are but you were certainly always hungry. H&H 4Eva.