Antonio Blakeney leaving LSU early for NBA Draft

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LSU sophomore Antonio Blakeney is not staying to see if new head coach Will Power can turn around the Tigers’ fortunes. Instead, he is seeking his own fortune at the next level.

The second-team All-SEC guard announced Tuesday on Twitter that he is declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft:


Later Tuesday, he provided a statement to LSU’s sports communications office.

“First and foremost, I want to thank LSU for affording me the opportunity to represent the school and the men’s basketball program over the past two years. It was a privilege to wear the Purple and Gold uniform alongside my teammates. It was an honor to battle with you each and every night,” he said.

“I want to thank my coaches and LSU staff members for providing me with the opportunity to learn on and off the court. I appreciate the fans who took me in as family from the day I committed, which makes this bittersweet. After weeks of discussion, thoughts and prayers, I have decided to take the next step in my basketball career. With that being said, I would like to announce that I’m entering the 2017 NBA Draft.”

Blakeney averaged 17.2 points per game, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game last season despite LSU’s struggles during a 10-21 campaign.

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