Yoeli Childs leaves BYU to declare for NBA draft

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PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – One day after BYU lost its head coach, its best player is leaving as well.

Yoeli Childs announced on Twitter that he will forgo his final year of eligibiltiy, hire and agent, and enter the NBA Draft.

Childs could return to BYU if he is not drafted, even if he does hire an agent, but it is believed Childs would then head overseas to pursue a professional career.

“These past three years have been amazing,” Childs wrote. “When I think of BYU and what this school, program and people have done for me I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m grateful to the coaching staff for caring about me off the court as much as they did on the court,” Childs wrote. “They believed in me no matter what. I am especially grateful for (former assistant coach) Tim LaComb for recruiting me and for the relationship we built on and off the court.

“I’m grateful for my teammates. I’ve been blessed to play this game of basketball with great players but better men. They are like brothers to me and we’ll be lifelong friends. I’m so grateful for all the BYU fans. The energy you support us with and the love that is felt everywhere I go is special.

“BYU truly has the greatest fans in the world. I hope you will continue to be a fan and show support for the rest of my basketball career. The time has come for a new chapter in my life. I will be declaring for this year’s NBA draft with intent to hire an agent. Thank you for everything Cougar Nation.”

His annoucement comes one day after Dave Rose retired after 14 years as head coach.

Childs is coming off his best season, averaging 21.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He had 17 double-doubles and was a first-team All-West Coast Conference selection.

Childs tested the NBA waters after his sophomore season, but did not hire and agent and returned to BYU.

This marks the third straight season BYU has lost its leading scorer to the professional ranks, along with Elijah Bryant in 2018 and Eric Mika in 2017.

In his three seasons at BYU, Childs finished with 1,609 points, 14th on BYU’s all-time scoring list. Childs also finishes No. 5 on the career rebounding list with 882.

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