The captain of the Duke basketball team is leaving the program a year early.
Late-night news hit the Duke basketball program on Thursday that its captain would officially not be returning for another season.
Junior forward Wendell Moore became the third player on the Blue Devil roster to declare for the 2022 NBA Draft, joining Mark Williams and Paolo Banchero.
More decisions are coming by the end of the week.
The Charlotte, North Charlotte native took the reins of this young Duke roster and led the team to a Final Four berth after not playing in an NCAA Tournament game prior to his junior season. COVID ended both his freshman and sophomore campaigns earlier than expected.
Wendell Moore averaged 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 50.0-percent from the field and 41.3-percent from 3-point range.
The stellar season earned Moore a spot on the All-ACC Second Team and the conference’s All-Defensive Team while winning the Julius Erving Award, given to the best small forward in the country.
“Words cannot express the honor and privilege it is to wear this Duke jersey alongside some of the greatest names in the history of college basketball,” Moore said in a press release.
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“As I announce my intention to enter the 2022 NBA Draft, I can only hope that I’ve done The Brotherhood proud. I’ve grown so much over the last three years – experienced highs and lows that will shape me for the rest of my life.”
Wendell Moore’s iconic Duke moment came in his freshman season when his overtime buzzer-beater in the Dean E. Smith Center lifted the Blue Devils over North Carolina in another iconic matchup between the programs.
“It has truly been an honor to be a Blue Devil, and although I will miss those moments with my teammates, I will cherish them forever,” Moore continued.
Duke basketball captain has left his mark on the program
“I could not be more proud of the player and person that Wendell [Moore] has become,” Mike Krzyzewski said.
“He is everything that is good about our game of college basketball. To see him grow and improve over these last three years has been special and I’m so happy for Wendell [Moore] and his family to have this moment.”
In the latest 2022 Bleacher Report NBA Mock Draft, Wendell Moore is projected to be selected No. 28 overall to the Golden State Warriors after the junior was not listed in any first-round mock drafts prior to this season.
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Duke is still awaiting the official decisions from AJ Griffin, Trevor Keels, and Jeremy Roach.
Griffin is expected to be the fourth, and final, player from Duke to enter the 2022 NBA Draft while many are anticipating both Keels and Roach to return to Durham for another season.
The deadline for underclassmen to officially declare for June’s draft is Sunday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m. EST.