Kentucky freshman guard Devin Booker announced in a Thursday press conference in Lexington, Ky., that he intends to forego his remaining college eligibility and enter the NBA Draft.
Booker, a Moss Point product, is one of seven Kentucky players from this year's 38-1 squad that will leave the school early for the NBA. The players joining Booker in making the move are Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Dakari Johnson, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison.
The 6-foot-6 Booker averaged 10 points in 21.5 minutes a contest in his freshman season at Kentucky.
"It's a tough decision," Booker said. "I just had to sit down my parents. We're all just chasing our dreams."
Never miss a local story.
Booker is projected to be selected anywhere between the eighth and 19th selection in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Booker was the three-time Sun Herald South Mississippi Player of the Year from 2012-14.
After moving from Grand Rapids, Mich., prior to his sophomore year, Booker became the all-time leading scorer in Moss Point history with 2,518 points.
The news that Booker has decided to go pro does not come as a big surprise, but it does mark an impressive rise for the sharp shooter.
"I honestly didn't think I'd be in this position this year," Booker said. "I wanted to be a part of something special at a special program like Kentucky. We wanted to make history and we did that. Once you're caught in the moment, everything was coming so fast towards us."
In Kentucky's 2014 class of signees, Booker was one of four McDonald's All-Americans, but he wasn't considered one of the players likely to enter the NBA Draft after one season.
Booker helped his cause this season by improving as a defender and hitting 41.1 percent of his 3-pointers.
The NBA Draft will be held June 25 in New York City.