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Dwayne Wade to turn pro

  |   May 1, 2003 at 6:45 PM
MILWAUKEE, May 1 (UPI) -- After leading Marquette to a surprise Final Four appearance, junior forward Dwyane Wade announced Thursday he was making himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

Wade, the Conference USA Player of the Year and an All-American, averaged 21.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the 27-6 Golden Eagles, who reached the Final Four for the first time since they won the national title under Al McGuire in 1977.

"It was a great year and I think I'm going to take my game to the NBA," Wade said.

Wade was named the Midwest Regional's Most Outstanding Player after helping the Golden Eagles shock top-ranked Kentucky in the regional final. Wade produced a triple-double in Marquette's 83-69 win, contributing 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

After the season ended, Marquette Coach Tom Crean spurned an offer from Illinois for its available coaching position, since filled by Bruce Weber of Southern Illinois, and signed a contract extension.

Had Wade returned for his senior year to play with star guard Travis Diener, the Golden Eagles likely would have been ranked in the preseason Top 10.

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