April 25, 2007
Faced with a fork in the road toward a professional basketball career, Eastern Washington University's Rodney Stuckey is taking the middle road.
The sensational Eagle basketball player will declare for the National Basketball Association draft that takes place on June 28. But he will not hire an agent, leaving open the option to withdraw his name from the draft and return to EWU next fall.
Currently taking classes and on track to graduate in June 2008, Stuckey made his announcement on Wednesday (April 25).
"It is a good option," he said. "It's the best thing for me to do and get feedback with where I would be in the draft."
"I just think it's the best thing for me to do and I just want to see where I am out there," he added. "I still have the option to come back to school, but it's still a good thing to hear what people have to say."
He is an All-American -- both athletically and academically -- after averaging 24 points per game in each of his first two seasons. He has helped EWU win 30 games the past two seasons and has a 3.34 grade point average.
He will have until June 18 to withdraw his name from consideration. College student-athletes are only allowed to declare for the draft and pull out only once in their career. He hopes to keep the next two months as normal as possible.
"I'm still part of the team -- I'm working out with (my teammates), doing individual work and attending class here at Eastern. I'm a regular student here."
"I really don't like having a lot of spotlights on me," he added. "I'm kind of a low-key guy. I'm just trying to make things as normal as they can be."
Stuckey said his family was a factor in making his decision. Even if he elects to pursue an NBA career, he vows to return to school and get his degree.
"It's really important," he said. "I'll be the first person to graduate from college in my family. That would be a good accomplishment. Secondly, I always promised my mom that no matter what happens I will get my degree. In case basketball doesn't go the way it is supposed to go I will have something else to fall back on."
More on Stuckey . . .
For the second-straight season, Eastern Washington University sophomore Rodney Stuckey received honorable mention All-America honors by the Associated Press as one of the top 63 players in NCAA Division I. The AP announced its 2007 All-America Team on March 26, 2007. The team consisted of five first-team players, five second-team players, five third-team players, and 48 honorable mention picks.
Stuckey led the Big Sky in scoring at 24.6 points per game. He was second in assists with 5.52 per game and second in steals with 2.45 per game. On March 19, Stuckey was selected on the 16-person All-America squad selected by Collegeinsider.com.
Stuckey's All-America accolades are the highest by an Eastern player at the NCAA Division I level, with honorable mention All-America honors being won by Stuckey last season and Alvin Snow in 2004.
Stuckey, a 2004 graduate of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash., led Eastern to 30 victories in the past two seasons. He is ranked seventh in NCAA Division I in scoring in 2007 with an average of 24.6 points per game after averaging 24.2 as a freshman. He has broken 10 school records and has a current career total of 1,438 points.
In addition, Stuckey was a unanimous selection on the All-Big Sky Conference team. And, with a 3.34 accumulative grade point average, he was selected as a third team selection on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team after earning All-District VIII honors earlier in the season for the second-straight season.
In his freshman season, Collegeinsider.com voted Stuckey as its National Freshman of the Year and this year named him its pick as Big Sky Conference Player of the Year. Earlier this season, Stuckey was selected to the All-District 9 squad by the United States Basketball Writers Association and earned All-District 13 honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Collegehoops.net named him as a first team Mid-Major All-America selection.