All-American guard Kenny Anderson said Monday he's skipping his final two seasons at Georgia Tech to enter the NBA draft.
"The most important person to me is my mother, and I wanted to take care of her," Anderson said. "It's going to be hard to leave here."Anderson declined to predict where he'll go in the June 26 draft, but said, "I hope and pray it's the top five."
"It's always been a childhood dream to compete against the best in the world," Anderson said. "In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be leaving Tech in two years."
Anderson reportedly considered staying another season at Tech after a poor shooting performance in the Yellow Jackets' second-round loss to Ohio State in the NCAA tournament.
But the 6-foot-2 sophomore said he decided to turn pro after speaking over the weekend with his mother and Tech coach Bobby Cremins. Cremins stood with his departing star at Monday's news conference.
"I support Kenny's decision 100 percent," Cremins said.
"I personally appreciate him not leaving last year . . . He's taking a bit of a gamble, but I believe he's doing the right thing because that's what he wants to do."
Anderson, who averaged 25.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this season, said he hopes to return to Tech to finish his degree in textile management.
Anderson was an immediate sensation as a freshman, averaging 20.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and leading the Yellow Jackets to their first Final Four. Although his numbers improved this season, his play was erratic. In his final game, a 65-61 loss to Ohio State, Anderson missed 20 of 28 shots from the field.
Another Tech star, Dennis Scott, left school early to enter last year's NBA draft. Scott now plays for the Orlando Magic.
Anderson is Georgia Tech's 10th all-time leading scorer, with 1,497 points in two seasons. If he had stayed another season, he might have broken the school record of 2,232 by Rich Yunkus.
Last season, Anderson broke Yunkus' single-game Tech record by scoring 50 points against Loyola Marymount.