NC State’s Dennis Smith Jr. declares for NBA Draft

North Carolina State's Dennis Smith Jr. (4) dunks against Virginia Tech during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. North Carolina State won 104-78. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – N.C. State freshman Dennis Smith, Jr. announced his decision Tuesday to enter the NBA draft.

“I would like to announce my decision to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft,” said Smith on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “I believed I had a good chance (to turn pro) when I entered college. It was definitely an attainable dream for me and I knew I would chase it with all of my might.”

Smith was named pre-season rookie of the year and finished the year being named ACC Freshman of the Year.

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He recorded two triple-doubles in conference play – no ACC player has ever recorded two triple-doubles against conference opponents in a career.

“I’ve been a State fan my entire life, as well as my family, so it was definitely a dream come true to play in the red and white. I have the utmost respect for everybody I was there with. I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Smith said.

Smith averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals in 32 games for the Wolfpack.

The announcement comes a week after N.C. State’s hired Kevin Keatts to replace Mark Gottfried as head coach.

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