posted on Mar, 31 2004 @ 05:48 PM
Stanford forward Josh Childress will declare himself eligible for the NBA draft but still leave open the option of returning for his senior season.
"I plan on putting my name in and testing it out, testing the waters," Childress said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I do not plan on hiring an
agent right now, just from the standpoint of coming back if I need to."
On Tuesday, the All-American forward told coach Mike Montgomery his decision.
Montgomery had said after the season he expected his leading scorer to return. Stanford, ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time, was knocked out in
the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Alabama.
Childress missed the season's first nine games with a left foot injury, then averaged 15.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks the rest of the way and
earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors.
"I don't want to make it seem like I'm gone for sure," he said. "I really cherished my years here at Stanford. But I owe it to myself ... I put myself
in the position to see where I stand and hopefully [fans] understand that. I want to see how I stack up against the other players."
Childress said he would complete his sociology degree at Stanford at some point.
Montgomery and his staff were at the Final Four on Wednesday and unavailable for comment, the school said.
Montgomery said last week he expected Childress to return to school.
"What kids are supposed to do is finish college and get a degree. That's always been Josh's intention," the 18th-year coach said. "I don't know that
Josh ever said he was going to look at the draft. Did he? No. As far as we're concerned, Josh's intent has always been on returning to school, getting
his degree and finishing his career with his teammates."