Duke freshman Jalen Johnson opts out of remainder of season, will enter NBA Draft


LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – JANUARY 23: Jalen Johnson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots the ball against the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on January 23, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Duke freshman Jalen Johnson opted out of the remainder of the college basketball season and will enter the NBA Draft, the team announced on Monday.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged more than 11 points and 6 rebounds in 13 games this season.

“I appreciate everything about my time at Duke. Coach K, my teammates and the program have been nothing but supportive throughout this season, especially during my foot injury,” Johnson said in a statement. “My family, Coach and I have made the decision that I should not play the remainder of this season so I can be 100 percent healthy in preparation for the NBA Draft.”

Johnson added that the decision wasn’t easy and that “Duke will always have a special place in my heart and will always be a part of me.”

The Blue Devils have six games left on their schedule. Next up is a trip to Wake Forest. The campaign concludes March 6 in North Carolina.

“While we are encouraged by what we are seeing medically, for Jalen’s future, we believe this decision is in his best interest,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement.

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