Confirming an earlier report from The Juice Online, Fab Melo officially declared for the NBA draft on Thursday afternoon.
“After meeting with my mother, my family and Coach Boeheim, I have decided to enter my name in to the 2012 NBA Draft,” Melo said in a statement. “Being able to play professional basketball has been my dream since I first starting playing this game and now I have the opportunity to accomplish that dream.”
Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters also declared for the NBA draft in March.
Melo was named the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, with 88 blocked shots. However, Melo didn’t play in the NCAA tournament after he was declared ineligible.
Melo was also absent for three games during the regular season with a reported academic issue.
“Coach Boeheim, Coach Hopkins and the rest of the Syracuse staff have helped me develop as a player and as a man and I will always be appreciative for what they’ve done for me,” Melo said. “I wish Syracuse University, the basketball program and the Syracuse fans nothing but the best.”
NBADraft.net projects Melo as a late first round or early second round pick.