UCLA's T.J. Leaf latest one-and-done for Bruins, declares for NBA Draft

By Ron Clements 31 March 2017
UCLA's T.J. Leaf latest one-and-done for Bruins, declares for NBA Draft

T.J. Leaf is following Lonzo Ball to the NBA.

UCLA's freshman forward declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday. 

"This was a huge decision for me and my family," Leaf said in a statement. "It was definitely one of the hardest decisions in my life. I have decided to declare for the NBA Draft with the intent of hiring an agent. 

"I just want to thank everyone at UCLA. The fans were amazing and made for a great year. The coaches were the best I’ve had, and I can’t thank them enough, especially Coach (Steve) Alford.

"I will always love my UCLA family so much, in particular the amazing teammates I had this past year. They are like brothers to me. This was the most fun year of basketball I’ve had in my entire life, and I will definitely miss it. But, I cannot wait to start my new journey."

Ball, Leaf's 6-6 teammate who was a first-team All-American, declared for the draft almost immediately after UCLA's Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky last Friday. 

Bruins coach Steve Alford said he completely supports Leaf's decision to pursue his dream.

"I’m proud of what he was able to accomplish this season," Alford said. "He brought so much to our team, both on and off the court, and we’re certainly going to miss him. TJ has been an absolute joy to coach, and I know that all of us at UCLA will be excited to watch him continue to grow at the next level."

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