With many projecting that he’ll be the number two pick in this year’s NBA Draft, Duke freshman Brandon Ingram has officially declared himself eligible, expectedly ending his college career after one season.
After his announcement, the Blue Devils payed homage to Ingram with this highlight video.
Kinston, NC —> Duke
The best prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft.https://t.co/qj0fSmw4K6
— Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) April 4, 2016
Ingram thanked Coach K, his teammates, Duke University and the Cameron Crazies, in his own farewell posted on The Players Tribune.
On one hand, one year at Duke isn’t a very long time. I know that. But I’ve done a lot of growing, and growing up, in that time. I know by leaving I’ll miss out on a lot of friendships and opportunities. I’ll really miss all the students who showed me so much love. One of my favorite parts of the Duke basketball tradition is the high-five line at the end of home games. The students who camp out for seats for up to a week before a game — and get in their seats two hours early — are always still there after the final buzzer. Win or lose. You guys gave me the energy and support that I needed. I’ll never forget you all.
I’ll miss my teammates the most.
Amile: Big man. Your injury was a big loss to our team. You were our leading rebounder and I learned a lot from you. But more importantly, you were always there for us. Even with your injury, you never missed a practice and you were always there at the games. I’ll remember the Oregon game, when you were there picking up my spirits.
Chase: You kept us laughing in the locker room with your personality, and you always worked extra- hard in practice. I saw flashes this year of what you can be next season. Your impersonations of Nate James will go down in the books.
Grayson: Obviously you meant so much for our team. When you stepped on the floor, we knew that no one would play with more energy. You made us want to dive for loose balls and hit the big shot. You were more than just our best scorer — you were also a great passer and you taught me a lot.
Marshall and Matt: Our captains. I look up to you guys. Thanks for taking the young guy under your wing.
Luke: I’ll say it because you probably won’t: you’re a truly great player. I admire your ability to score. You’ve got the whole game. But outside of basketball, we all looked up to you as one of the smartest guys on the team.
Nick, Sean and Justin: Our bench guys. You never stopped hustling in practice. Nobody else could see it, but we did. I don’t know how many times Coach K got on us because you guys were making difficult shots in practice, making us look bad.
Derryk: My roommate. One of my closest friends. We’ll share a lot of memories, and I know many of them will last forever. I learned a lot from you about your on-ball defending.
Antonio and Brennan: I probably hang out with you guys more than anyone, going to eat or going to the movies. Thanks for reminding me to be myself. Like true friends, you were always willing to compliment me on good stuff and to criticize me when I needed it.
To the coaching staff — Coach K, Coach Capel, Coach James and Coach Scheyer. The best coaches in the game. You care about us growing as men, not just players. Duke family forever.
Ingram averaged 17 points and 6.8 rebounds during his only season in Durham.