Dayton Flyers forward Obi Toppin announced Wednesday he will enter the NBA Draft, ending his college career after three years at the University of Dayton and two seasons on the court.
» KEEPING TRACK: A guide to Toppin’s many awards
Toppin made the announcement, which has been expected by everyone who saw his draft stock rise all season, with a video on Twitter. He had two years of eligibility remaining, but at 22, he’s the age of a college senior and he’s expected to be a lottery pick in June. There was no doubt he would turn pro this spring.
“I believe it is time to start the next chapter in my journey,” he said. “I would like to share the news with you guys that I will be signing with an agent and forgoing my college eligibility to enter my name into the NBA Draft.”
Toppin averaged 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds this season as a redshirt sophomore. He led Dayton to a 29-2 season, an Atlantic 10 Conference championship, a No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press poll and 20 straight victories to end the season. He has won numerous national player of the year awards, most recently from the Associated Press and United States Basketball Writers Association.
Toppin set a school record with 107 dunks this season. He dunked 83 times as a redshirt freshman. He broke Chris Wright’s school record of 166 dunks with 190 career dunks.
» BIG PICTURE: Sullivan says awards show what can be done at Dayton
Here’s a transcript of Toppin’s other comments in the video: “This whole year has been more than just basketball. It’s been a brotherhood like no other. Our team was not just playing for ourselves, we were playing for our whole community. We learned about the great impact we had on all the people in the Dayton community and across the nation. While we were very upset the season ended the way it did, we were also grateful for what we did accomplish this year and how we were able to support others along the way. I want to thank God for allowing me to be in the position I am in today. I want to thank my mother (Roni Toppin) for all the hard days and nights she goes through to allow me to be in the position I am in today.
“I want to thank my father (Obadiah Toppin) for helping me grow and continuing to show me the ropes about playing basketball throughout my life. You are definitely a great teacher. And I also want to thank my uncle Vic (Monaros) who has helped me every step of the way. Without you, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now. I want to thank all my coaches and everyone on the staff for pushing me every single day to be a better player and a better person. I also want to thank everyone in the office, the managers, the academic advisors, our AD (Neil Sullivan) and everyone who helped me and the team move forward. And, of course, how can I forget my teammates, my brothers. You guys believed in me, pushed me and helped me earn the success I have been lucky to have so far. Lastly, I want to thank this amazing community for accepting me into your own families and into the Dayton family. To anyone else I forget, thank you so much. I love every single one of you from the bottom of my heart."
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