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Cal’s Abdur-Rahim To Pull Out Of Draft, Return To College

California freshman forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim has changed his mind and will announce today that he is withdrawing his name from the NBA draft, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Abdur-Rahim, the Pacific-10 Conference’s leading scorer and freshman of the year, announced May 7 that he would give up his final three years of college eligibility to turn pro. He sobbed during the news conference and said he was merely keeping his options open and that he might return for his sophomore season.

Cal coach Todd Bozeman is expected to join Abdur-Rahim, 19, at a news conference this afternoon.

According to NBA rules, undergraduates with eligibility remaining were required to enter the draft by May 12. There is no loss of college eligibility if they withdraw their names at least 48 hours before the June 26 draft.

Three weeks ago, he was projected as an early first-round pick. There have been indications his stock has dropped, however, because of questions about his ballhandling skills and perimeter game, the Chronicle reported.