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UConn freshman linked to scandal enters NBA draft - May 26, 2009

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Ater Majok
Connecticut freshman basketball player Ater Majok (6'10''-C/F), whose name has come up in recruiting allegations against the school, declared Thursday for the NBA draft.

Majok, a 6-foot-10 forward, said he wont hire an agent and intends to assess where he stands with the NBA and return to school. He has until June 15 to withdraw his name and retain his eligibility.

I feel it will help me to test the process and get feedback on my strengths and weaknesses, Majok said in a statement released by the school. It will allow me to get a better idea of what areas in my game need improvement and make me a better player in the future.

Majok, a former refugee from Sudan, is not eligible to play at Connecticut until the end of the 2009 fall semester.

UConn head coach Jim Calhoun said that, in view of upcoming rule changes for underclassmen, this is an opportunity for Ater to see where he currently fits into what I believe will be a future in professional basketball.

Reports have linked Josh Nochimson, a former UConn student manager, to the appearance of Majok at a basketball tournament last year in Kentucky. Phone calls between Nochimson and UConns coaches are at the center of an NCAA investigation into possible recruiting violations.

Most of those allegations involve another UConn recruit, Nate Miles. Yahoo! Sports reported in March that Nochimson helped guide Miles to Connecticut, giving him lodging, transportation, meals and representation. Miles, of Toledo, Ohio, was expelled from Connecticut last fall before ever playing for the Huskies.

Calhoun has acknowledged that he or his staff may have made mistakes in recruiting Miles.

Majok, who speaks several languages, signed with UConn last spring, but his enrollment was held up by questions about his academic qualifications. He spent several years in a refugee camp in Egypt before becoming a citizen of Australia through a United Nations program.

Majok is the second UConn underclassman to declare for the draft. Junior center Hasheem Thabeet, the 7-foot-3 Big East co-player of the year from Tanzania, is expected to be a lottery pick.

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