Syracuse forward Marek Dolezaj announces he’s going pro

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Marek Dolezaj goes up for a dunk against Duke. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Syracuse forward Marek Dolezaj will forgo his final year of eligibility to turn pro, he announced Wednesday afternoon.

“Four years ago, I could have never imagined where I would be right now,” Dolezaj tweeted. “These were some of the best years of my life and I want to thank Coach Boeheim, Coach Red (Autry), the entire staff, my teammates, and the best fans in basketball for believing in me from the start. I look forward to pursuing the next chapter of my life by playing professional basketball and will be forever Orange.”

Dolezaj had played four years at Syracuse, but had an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dolezaj appeared in 131 games throughout his career, and averaged 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in the 2020-21 season. Though he was recruited as a wing, he spent the majority of his time playing center, though he was severely undersized at 6-10, 201 pounds.

He will be remembered for several moments in his Syracuse tenure, including drawing a charge against Duke forward Zion Williamson, who outweighed him by more than 100 pounds. Earlier in the year, he chipped a tooth in a win against Georgetown in the waning moments, but remained in the game.

» Related: Syracuse nets commitment from 2022 forward Kamari Lands

Dolezaj adds to a mass exodus from the Syracuse team, which has already lost four players (Kadary Richmond, Woody Newton, John Bol Ajak and Robert Braswell) to the transfer portal, and potentially another (Quincy Guerrier) to the NBA Draft.

The Orange has already added two players from the portal—Symir Torrence and Cole Swider—and will likely add more with the departure of Dolezaj.

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About Wes Cheng 2676 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.