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June 18, 2007Husky center leaves Washington after one season as a national and Pac-10 freshman honoree.
University of Washington freshman center Spencer Hawes has decided to forgo his remaining three years of college eligibility, sign with an agent and remain available for the 2007 National Basketball Association draft.
"After meeting with everyone, getting all the appropriate feedback and going through the entire evaluative process, I made a decision I believe is the best for my future and that is to remain eligible for the NBA Draft," said Hawes, who announced his intention to undergo the NBA Draft selection process in early April, attended the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month and worked out for five different teams over the past 12 days. The decision to further my career in the NBA at this point in time was difficult. Every day I had different feelings about it. But, at the end of the day, I have to be realistic and trust my instincts."
"The fact that our team struggled a bit last season made the decision not to return to Washington very difficult. Certainly, there are some things I would have liked to accomplish in college. But, I feel I made the best decision to my family and my future."
Hawes led the Huskies and ranked 10th among Pacific-10 Conference scorers with a 14.9 per game scoring average. His 53.2 percent accuracy from the field was the league's fourth-best figure. Hawes ranked second on the team and ninth among Pac-10 players with an average of 6.4 rebounds per game.
"Spencer is obviously very talented. We think so and the NBA thinks so," said Washington head basketball coach Lorenzo Romar, who played five seasons in the NBA.
"Spencer has a great opportunity in front of him and we wish him the best. One of the important character traits that really describes Spencer is the fact that during the spring quarter he completed every one of his classes and remained an outstanding student at the University of Washington."
The 7-foot center was a first-team All-Pac-10 Freshman Team selection and an honorable mention all-conference pick. He established two new school freshman records with 461 points and 54 blocked shots.
A product of Seattle Prep (Wash.) High School, Hawes was a prep teammate of Martell Webster who currently plays with the Portland Trailblazers. Both players were McDonald's All-Americans. Webster was the sixth overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft.
Hawes is the nephew of Steve Hawes, a two-time All-American (1971, 1972) at Washington who went on to a 10-year NBA career. Spencer's father, Jeff Hawes, was a three-year Husky basketball letterman from 1972-74.
Washington had three former players leave school early to declare for the NBA Draft, all of them departed after their junior seasons. Nate Robinson was a first-round selection in the 2005 draft, the 21st pick overall by the Phoenix Suns who immediately traded him to New York. Mark Sanford was picked by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 1997 draft, the 30th player overall. Doug Wrenn applied for the 2004 draft, but was not selected.
Last season, Washington's Brandon Roy was selected sixth overall in the NBA Draft by Minnesota then was quickly traded to Portland, where he averaged 16.8 points per game and became the league's Rookie of the Year. Washington completed the 2007 campaign with a 19-13 record, capping the regular-season with a 61-51 victory over second-ranked and Final Four qualifier UCLA on March 3.