Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite celebrates with fans after the NCAA championship game in Minneapolis.

Forward Mamadi Diakite announced late Wednesday he is withdrawing from the NBA Draft and returning to UVa for his senior year.

Diakite, a 6-foot-9 redshirt junior from Guinea, played a major role in getting UVa to the Final Four with a buzzer-beating jump shot that sent the Cavaliers into overtime against Purdue in a regional final.

Diakite played in all 38 games for UVa (35-3) and made 22 starts, averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds. He also led the Cavs in blocked shots.

Three of his UVa teammates — De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome — had voiced their intentions of turning pro shortly after the season.

Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

Load comments