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Korleone Young To Jump To NBA,
Skip College For Now--(April 8,1998)

High school prep star Korleone Young (6'-8" 5th yr.Sr. PF) who was named to the McDonald's All-American team, but didn't play due to injury, announced his intention to skip college and become available for the NBA draft.

Young made the announcement at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia on Wednesday, dressed in full uniform, saying, "I made the decision based on many hours of deliberation with my family and friends. In my heart, I think I can become a good NBA basketball player," Young said. "I have never backed away from a challenge," he added, "and will not start now."

Marty Blake, director of scouting for the NBA, was not optimistic about Young's chances of being drafted. "This is a joke," Blake said Tuesday. "My understanding is that he can't predict (his future), so he enters the NBA draft. If they can't make the grades, they have few options. Only five guys in 50 years have gone right to the NBA from high school and one was not drafted. And Tracy McGrady (the ninth overall pick in the 1997 draft from Mount Zion High School in North Carolina) has not done that well."

Young does plan to enroll in a college in 1999. Young visited Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgetown and UNLV this season, according to Hargrave coach Scott Shepherd, and would have qualified academically had he chosen to attend college. Young said he's smart enough to get into college -- he narrowed his choices to Georgetown and UCLA -- and still expects to get a degree in business management somewhere. He plans to go to summer school and take night classes beginning in 1999. Young knows his decision will be criticized and said it's upsetting to think some people will assume he's doing it because he can't pass college courses.

Young transferred to Virginia's Hargrave Military Academy from Wichita for his senior season and averaged 29.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists for the Tigers postgraduate team, which plays junior colleges, college junior varsity teams and a few of the nation's top high schools. The Tigers finished 26-1, winning a junior college tournament in Lewisburg, N.C., and the Nike Super Six tournament in Madison Square Garden.

Young, a first-team Parade Magazine All-American in his junior and senior years, plans to hire an agent, Shepherd said. If Young hires an agent, he would lose all college eligibility. Should Young decide not to hire an agent, he could retain his college eligibility if he is not drafted by the NBA or decided against signing an NBA contract.

In Kansas, Young scored 1,357 points in his three years of high school, ranking him fourth on the City League's career scoring list. He said he transferred to Hargrave, a rural Virginia school known for sending top players to Division I schools, to get a break from the limelight and play against tougher competition.

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