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Oklahoma basketball: Amath M'Baye to enter NBA Draft

Oklahoma forward Amath M'Baye will skip his senior season and enter the NBA Draft.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Modified: March 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm •  Published: March 27, 2013

“I think the first time he came to us to talk about it, he said, ‘I’m 99 percent sure I want to do this,’” Kruger said. “That 1 percent didn’t leave us a lot of negotiation or communication opportunity but still understand his desires and respect that and wish him the best.”

Kruger, like many Oklahoma fans and media, were surprised by the decision, but it isn’t one M’Baye said he made out of haste. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” M’Baye said. “It’s not just that I woke up this morning and decided I was leaving.”

Yet, as he wrapped up his interview with the media, a group of teammates stood around listening to his thoughts on his decision. Some of them found out over the past couple days. Some found out Wednesday. As he walked away from the group, M’Baye wrapped his arms around his good friend and Oklahoma walk-on James Fraschilla.

“I’m going to miss you, buddy,” he said to Fraschilla. They walked off hugging with their arms around each others’ shoulders.

M’Baye will narrow his search for an agent in the coming weeks. There is a chance that if he doesn’t choose an agent by the NBA’s early entry deadline of April 28, he could return to OU. Asked of that, M’Baye said that he had made his decision and he wasn’t coming back.

When asked, M’Baye said he wasn’t sure what his draft stock was, but smiled when the questions turned to NBA’s European League. “I mean, I’m from France,” he said.

The thought of playing in Europe wouldn’t faze the Sooners’ former forward. He grew up in a third-world country where he watched his mother struggle to find money and put food on the table, where there were no luxuries and where the electricity shut off because there wasn’t enough power to charge the whole city.

As the reality set in, M’Baye’s decision seemed to shock and stun his teammates. Kruger said the Sooners were disappointed more for what M’Baye was going to miss out on in the next year, “than for the team.”