UCLA’s Cody Riley joins Kris Wilkes, Jaylen Hands in declaring for the NBA draft
Cody Riley could give new meaning to being one and done.
The UCLA freshman forward who played in one exhibition game before a shoplifting scandal led to a season-long suspension was on a list of 236 players who filed as early entry candidates for the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-10 Riley is not believed to have hired an agent, preserving his ability to return for what would be a redshirt freshman season. He has until May 30 to withdraw his name from draft consideration.
Riley might have the shortest resume among the early entry candidates. He came off the bench in his one appearance as a Bruin, logging eight points, five rebounds, five turnovers, three assists and two steals during an exhibition victory over Cal State Los Angeles in November.
A few days later, as the Bruins prepared to open their season in China, Riley along with teammates Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball shoplifted from multiple stores. Ball later withdrew from UCLA and the other players were suspended for the season, though they were allowed to practice with their teammates after Christmas.
Riley acknowledged his role in the shoplifting incident and apologized while reading from a prepared statement upon his return to campus from China.
“I’ve been looking forward to being a UCLA Bruin since I was young,” he said. “The alumni here have set such a high standard both academically and athletically and as a UCLA student-athlete, I’m disappointed in myself that I failed to live up to that. I can only hope that my actions, my words, my hard work in the weeks to come will prove to my coaches, my teammates and our fans that I am more capable of meeting that high standard.
“Away from the court, I will work especially hard in the classroom to show that I can be an outstanding representative of this incredible university, a place that is so important to so many people around the world.”
Riley is one of three Bruins with decisions to make about their draft status; small forward Kris Wilkes and point guard Jaylen Hands also declared for the draft without hiring an agent, leaving the door open to return to UCLA next season if they withdraw their names by June 11.
Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch
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