Shane Larkin has finally made a decision. After leading Miami to the Atlantic Coast conference this season and in the NCAA tournament, Larkin said he will be declaring himself for the NBA draft.
Having spent one year at DePaul University and one year at the University of Miami, Larkin will forgo his eligibility with the Hurricanes to enter the NBA draft. He is expected to go in the in the middle of the first round.
“I can honestly sit here and say this is the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my life,” Larkin said. “I’ve probably gone back and forth on this 100 times, just because I love the university so much.”
The Hurricanes were ranked as high as No. 2 in The Associated Press Top 25 Poll. However Miami fell short of expectations. Despite that, Larkin led the Hurricanes in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game.
Still Miami head coach, Jim Larranaga saw the inevitable happening, and just felt happy for Larkin.
“This is another first for us,” Larranaga said. “We’ve had a lot of firsts this year. You know, a lot of things went really, really well. And this is another milestone. If someone we’re recruiting in the future says ‘Hey, have you ever had somebody go one-and-done or two-and-done?’ we can now say, ‘Yes, Shane Larkin did.’ Before that, we couldn’t. Shane’s going to be the first.”
Larkin’s father, baseball hall of fame player Barry Larkin, hinted over the weekend that his son was turning pro. Larkin made his decision on Saturday and told his former Hurricanes team mates the same day.
“It really just came down to what was in my heart and what was in my gut,” Larkin said.
The Miami Hurricanes lost to the Marquette Golden Eagles during the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. Larkin, who was battling an illness, initially said he would return to school because he didn’t want his collegiate career to end on a bad note. However, the devastating injury of Kevin Ware changed his mind.
“I just thought to myself, if I did come back to school and something horrific happened — even though it’s a one-in-a-million chance — if something horrific happened to me like that, would I be able to live with myself, seeing that my dream was right here for me to take,” Larkin said. “That was just one of the main things I was thinking about.”
Larkin was selected as the ACC’s player of the year, voted by the league’s coaches. He also said he plans to obtain his degree, a promise he made to his mother.