Wake Forest lost one its best players earlier this week Deac sophomore forward Al-Farouq Aminu revealed his intentions to declare for the 2010 NBA Draft.
Aminu will hire an agent and forego his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility.
"This was a difficult decision," said Aminu. "But after talking it over with my family and my coaches, I believe now is the right time for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA.
"I want to thank Wake Forest and the basketball program for all they have done for me the past two years. I have had some great experiences and will miss the friends that I have made here. I'm excited to take the next step and begin my professional career."
A third team All-America selection this past season, Aminu played in 62 games in his Demon Deacon career. The Norcross, Ga. native started 60 games and averaged 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. He leaves Wake Forest with 892 points and 585 rebounds in his career.
"After several discussions with Al-Farouq and extensive research with NBA executives, we feel that it is in his best interest to pursue an NBA career," said Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio. "We also believe that it is important for him to return in the future and complete his coursework to earn his college degree. I want to wish Al-Farouq all the best. I'm looking forward to following his progress in what will undoubtedly be a successful pro career."
The 6-9 forward was the first Demon Deacon to lead the ACC in rebounding since Tim Duncan accomplished the feat in 1997.Aminu is the fifth player in Wake Forest history to leave school early for the NBA. Rodney Rogers left after his junior season in 1993, and Chris Paul left after his sophomore campaign in 2005. James Johnson and Jeff Teague both left after their sophomore seasons in 2009.
The 2010 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 24, at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden in New York City.