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Texas big man Mohamed Bamba declares for NBA draft

Texas forward Mohamed Bamba (4) dunks in front of Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) and forward Brady Manek (35) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Another standout freshman from the Big 12 is heading to the NBA.

Texas big man Mohamed Bamba announced Tuesday that he, like Oklahoma guard Trae Young, is leaving school after one season to pursue a professional career.

“After an incredibly rewarding year at The University of Texas, I will not be returning to school as I will be entering the NBA Draft,” Bamba said in a statement.

The news is not a surprise as the 6-foot-11 center lived up to his five-star billing during his lone season with the Longhorns. The expected lottery pick averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game for UT. His rebounding and blocks stats led the Big 12, and his 111 blocks for the season is both a conference and Texas program record for a freshman. Bamba finished the year shooting 54.1 percent from the field and 68.1 percent from the line and was a Big 12 All-Defensive Team and second-team All-Big 12 selection.

UT’s season ended Friday in heartbreaking fashion. The Longhorns led by as many as 14 points early in the second half of their NCAA tournament game against Nevada, but the Wolf Pack stormed back and eventually pulled out an 87-83 win in overtime. Bamba put up 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks before fouling out.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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