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Kentucky’s James Young Declares for NBA Draft

Jamie Squire/Getty Images)(LEXINGTON, Ky.) -- Kentucky freshman James Young announced Thursday he will enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

"My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I'll always treasure, but I feel that I'm ready to take the next step to the NBA," Young said. "I've learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support. I can't say enough about my teammates; the journey helped us build a bond that we will always share for the rest of our lives."

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Young averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season for a Wildcats team that advanced to the national championship game. According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, many NBA executives believe Young is a first-round pick.

''From Day 1, the NBA people who came to our practices in the preseason raved about him,'' Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement. ''He's done everything we've asked of him all season, investing himself in his brothers for the betterment of the team, and I think we all saw the end result in the tournament and Final Four.

"Whatever team drafts James is not only getting a superb athlete, they are getting the ultimate teammate.''

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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