University of Connecticut junior guard Shabazz Napier says he will not declare for this year’s NBA draft,  and will return to school for his senior season starting in the fall.

Sophomores Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels also ended speculation and told UConn they plan to stay in school.

Napier says he’s looking forward to continuing work toward his college degree and to “becoming a stronger leader for my teammates on and off the court.”  He says he thinks UConn has a strong team for the 2013-2014 season,   “and we’re excited about playing for a conference championship and in the NCAA Tournament.”

With 17.1 points per game last season,  Napier was the Huskies’ leading scorer.  He also led in assists and steals.

He thanked his family, especially his mother for her inspiration,  and Coach Kevin Ollie and the UConn coaching staff for their understanding,  and thanked his teammates,  singling out Brendan Allen and Enosch Wolf.  And Napier offered a special thanks to Coach Emeritus Jim Calhoun for helping him sort through the pros and cons of the decision.


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