UC Irvine's Mamadou Ndiaye, a 7-foot-6 sophomore during the recently completed men's basketball season, has announced he will not declare himself eligible for the 2015 NBA Draft.
"After thinking things over and talking with the people closest to me, I have decided to stay at UC Irvine to continue my education," Ndiaye said. "I love this community, especially my teammates and coaches, and I am excited to keep getting better and to learn more."
UCI Coach Russell Turner, who assisted Ndiaye with the process of considering his NBA future, was understandably excited to have the 2013-14 Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year returning.
"This is great news for Mamadou and for our program," Turner said. "He is staying here because he is happy, he's committed to his education and he is thriving. I feel really good about those things.
"We have a lot of people at UCI working hard to provide the highest-level environment for a student-athlete. Mamadou will keep improving as a player, and I am pleased to have him be such a great representative of UC Irvine and of our team."
Ndiaye and his Anteater teammates earned the school's first Division I NCAA Tournament berth this season after winning the Big West Conference Tournament for the initial time.
In the NCAA second round at Seattle, the No. 13-seeded 'Eaters narrowly fell to No. 4 seed Louisville, 57-55, March 20.
Ndiaye had 12 points on six-for-nine field-goal shooting and added five rebounds, one block and one steal in the NCAA tournament game.
He averaged 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds on the season, shooting 63.4 % from the field. He missed 19 games due to two separate foot injuries, after playing in all 32 games his freshman season.
In two seasons, Ndiaye is averaging 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds. He has 131 blocked shots in 49 career games and is shooting 67.8% from the field.
UCI, which has won 65 games over the last three years, was 21-13 last season, 11-5 in conference.