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UCLA’s T.J. Leaf declares for 2017 NBA draft

Freshman forward T.J. Leaf announced that he will not return to UCLA for a sophomore season, instead declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft. (Austin Yu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Tanner Walters

March 30, 2017 2:54 p.m.

This post was updated March 30 at 6:30 p.m.

UCLA men’s basketball forward T.J. Leaf became the second Bruin freshman to declare for the 2017 NBA draft, making the news official on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon.

Leaf averaged 16.3 points per game as a 19 year old, helping UCLA to a Sweet 16 finish in his lone season in Westwood. The Bruins fell to an overpowering Kentucky Wildcat squad that was out for revenge a week ago.

Freshman guard Lonzo Ball announced immediately after that game that he would be entering the draft. Leaf, while widely anticipated to declare, waited a few days to announce that he intends to sign with an agent.

“TJ had such a great season for us, and I completely support his decision to pursue his dream,” said coach Steve Alford. “I’m proud of what he was able to accomplish this season. He brought so much to our team, both on and off the court, and we’re certainly going to miss him.”

The 6-foot-10-inch standout averaged 16.3 points over the course his year at UCLA and is expected to be selected in the first round of the draft.

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Tanner Walters | Alumnus
Walters joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2014 and contributed until he graduated in 2018. He was the Alumni director for the 2017-2018 academic year, Editor in Chief for the 2016-2017 academic year and an assistant Sports editor for the 2015-2016 academic year. Walter spent time on the football, men's basketball, men's volleyball, men's soccer, men's water polo and rowing beats.
Walters joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2014 and contributed until he graduated in 2018. He was the Alumni director for the 2017-2018 academic year, Editor in Chief for the 2016-2017 academic year and an assistant Sports editor for the 2015-2016 academic year. Walter spent time on the football, men's basketball, men's volleyball, men's soccer, men's water polo and rowing beats.
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