UGA star Thompkins going pro, Leslie may follow

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS -- Georgia junior forward Trey Thompkins officially entered the NBA Draft on Tuesday, while teammate Travis Leslie will test his pro prospects but could return for his senior year with the Bulldogs.

Coach Mark Fox announced Tuesday the 6-foot-10 Thompkins was hiring an agent, ending his college eligibility.

"I have spoken with my family and coaches about my situation, and I feel that it's best for me to forgo my senior season and enter the NBA Draft," Thompkins said. "I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me in this decision."

Thompkins, a 6-foot-10 forward from Lithonia, earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors the past two years. He has led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding each of his those years and will finish his UGA career with 1,396 points and 693 rebounds. Those figures rank 13th and 10th, respectively, in school history.

"We certainly appreciate Trey's contributions to the program and we wish him well in the pursuit of his dreams," Fox said.

Leslie, a 6-4 guard from Decatur, was a second-team All-SEC pick by the league's head coaches this past season. He averaged 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2011, second on the team behind Thompkins in both categories, and he also handed out 97 assists.

Like Thompkins, he surpassed the 1,000-point mark in 2011 and finished the season with 1,099 points, which ranks 30th on the UGA career scoring chart.

And while Leslie is also entering his name to the list of underclass draft prospects, the 6-4 guard won't hire an agent, giving him the option of coming back for his final college season after he evaluates his pro status.

With Thompkins and Leslie leading the way, Georgia reached 20 wins and earned only its second NCAA bid since 2002. The Bulldogs were defeated in the opening round by Washington.

"Travis has exercised his right to test the waters as a junior," Fox said. "We will help him manage that process in a timely manner."

The deadline for underclassmen to withdraw their names from the draft and preserve eligibility is May 8. The NBA draft will be held June 23 in Newark, N.J.