High school star DeShawn Stevenson will turn pro, depriving Kansas coach Roy Williams of a player he described as his most gifted recruit ever.
Stevenson has struggled with getting a qualifying score on the SAT and apparently decided the trouble was not worth passing up potential millions from the NBA
"This youngster is a fine young man who signed with KU in the fall, and wanted to be a Jayhawk," Williams said Monday. "Now he has decided to move in a different direction, and I understand and support that. He has decided to pursue another dream and there is nothing wrong with that."
Stevenson, 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, is a McDonald's All-America who averaged 28 points and nearly 11 rebounds as a senior at Washington Union High School in Fresno, Calif. He was projected as a likely starter next season for the Jayhawks at small forward or shooting guard.
"This spring has been a very stressful time for DeShawn and his family," said Williams, who had traveled to Fresno late last week to meet with Stevenson. "Now that the decision has been made, we in the Kansas basketball family should support him."
In early May he announced his intention to enter the NBA draft, then reversed himself a few days later. Stevenson said he believed he had achieved a qualifying score on the Scholastic Achievement Test.
That changed again last week after he learned that his dramatically improved SAT score had been disqualified.
Stevenson's SAT score, about 450 when he took it as a sophomore, jumped to about 1,150 when he took the test again this year as a senior, well above the 820 necessary for freshman eligibility at an NCAA Division I school.
But the increase was so big it caught the attention of the New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service, which apparently red-flagged it.
That disqualification meant that if Stevenson enrolled at Kansas he would not be able to play for the Jayhawks next season unless he retook the test and achieved a qualifying score.
If he is drafted in the first round, as he believes will happen, Stevenson will receive a guaranteed three-year contract valued between $1.9 million and $9.4 million under the league's rookie salary structure. The NBA plans to release a final list of early entrants later this week.
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