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Oklahoma State recruit applies for NBA draft

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

HOUSTON -- Top-rated prep shooting guard Gerald Green said Tuesday he has applied for early entry into the NBA draft.

Green, a 6-foot-8 senior at Houston's Gulf Shores Academy, has not hired an agent so he can withdraw from the draft before June 21 and retain his college eligibility. He signed with Oklahoma State in November.

"My decision is based on what was best for me and my future," said Green, 19, who is ranked the nation's top shooting guard by recruiting Web site Rivals.com. "I'm weighing all of my options, but I still have plenty of time."

His father, Gerald Green Sr., said they are working with an adviser to determine his draft position.

"If he's a lottery pick, it's pretty much safe to say he'll be NBA-bound," his father said. "If not, he'll be OSU-bound."

Green's draft stock shot up and his commitment to the Cowboys began to waver after he scored 24 points and won the slam-dunk contest at the McDonald's High School All-American game March 30.

Before that game, Green said, he hadn't seriously considered making the jump to the NBA. But after that performance, many speculated that Green would be this year's only high school lottery pick -- one of the first 14 players selected in the draft.

The top pick is guaranteed a three-year contract worth $10.8 million and the 14th player selected is guaranteed a three-year contract worth $3.8 million.

Green said he plans to go to college eventually regardless of his final decision and that he's met all the eligibility requirements if he chooses to enroll at Oklahoma State.

He averaged 33 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists this season. He has great 3-point shooting range and leaping ability. He averages 60 percent from beyond the arc.

Green has drawn comparisons to Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant, but analysts say the 200-pound player needs to get bigger and stronger to succeed in the NBA.

McGrady was the ninth pick out of Mount Zion Christian Academy in the 1997 draft. Bryant was the 13th pick in 1996.

A record eight high schoolers, including four lottery picks, were chosen in the first-round of the 2004 draft, led by No. 1 Dwight Howard.

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