For Michigan's Trey Burke, the decision wasn't easy, but it became clearer for him after taking a few days to think about it. Less than a week after leading the Wolverines to the championship game in the NCAA Tournament, Burke decided to forego his final two years of eligibility and make himself eligible for the NBA draft. "After talking it over with my coaching staff and my parents and the ones that I trust the most and that I know have my best interests, I've decided to declare for the 2013 NBA draft and forego my last two seasons here at the University of Michigan," Burke said Sunday in a press conference at the Crisler Center. Joined by the entire team, coach John Beilein, athletic director Dave Brandon and all of the assistant coaches, Burke said making this decision is helping him realize a childhood goal. "It's always been a dream for me to play in the NBA. Now that it's here, I'm definitely fortunate and blessed," Burke said. "I'd like to thank God first and foremost for his wonderful blessings, allowing this day to come and just allowing me to be the athlete and the person that I am." Burke, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Columbus, Ohio, had 24 points but U-M lost to Louisville, 82-76, in Monday's national championship game at the Georgia Dome. He is projected as a top-10 pick in the draft, which is June 27. "We've faced so many challenges this year together, and at the end of the season, we came together and learned how to make a run," Burke said of his Michigan teammates. "I'm happy for my decision and I thank you for that." Burke said he would remember his teammates fondly: "We love each other on and off the court." This season Burke averaged 18.6 points and 6.7 assists, sweeping all of the major awards for national player of the year, including the James Naismith and John R. Wooden awards, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Associated Press award. He was in Los Angeles to accept the Wooden Award — the first Michigan player to earn the honor — on Friday and had time to discuss his final decision with Beilein. "We have the whole team here and we're very excited about today that one — and only one — of our players has made a 100-percent decision of what he would like to do with his future," Beilein said. Three other U-M players — Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary — still have decisions to make. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft is April 28. Last season, Burke considered declaring for the draft but decided to return, citing a desire to enhance his overall game and make his teammates better players.
Trey Burke says farewell to Michigan, leaves early for NBA
Detroit News | May 5