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March 31, 2008
The Lopez twins are going pro together.
The brothers made their announcement to The Associated Press on Monday through mother, Deborah Ledford.
It was expected that Brook would declare himself eligible for the NBA, but Robin was not so certain. They were prep stars in Fresno, Calif., and came to Stanford together. Now they will depart as a tandem, too.
"This has been a very difficult decision for me because I really enjoyed my two years at Stanford," Robin Lopez said in a statement released to the AP. "I have always hoped I would have an opportunity to play in the NBA and I feel now is the right time to make that dream a reality."
Brook Lopez, a third-team All-American and a first-team Pac-10 selection, averaged 19.3 points and 8.2 rebounds to go with 56 blocks this season. He scored the game-winning basket with 1.3 seconds left in an 82-81 victory over Marquette in the second round of the NCAA tournament to put Stanford in the regional semifinals for the first time since 2001.
He averaged 16.0 points and 7.1 rebounds in his two college seasons, blocking 101 shots and shooting 48 percent from the field in 53 games. Brook, who missed time earlier in the season because he was academically ineligible, scored in double figures in 41 games and scored a career-high 31 points at Washington this season.
"After a great deal of thought and discussion with my family, I feel it is the appropriate time to enter the NBA draft," Brook Lopez said. "It is the dream of every basketball player to play and succeed in the NBA and I feel I am ready to take on this new challenge."
Robin's confidence during the tournament run was contagious, according to his teammates. He averaged 10.2 points and 5.2 boards and blocked 83 shots for the Cardinal.
Both Lopez brothers said they will return to Stanford over time to complete their degrees.
"Nobody's surprised. We wish they were staying, but they made their decisions," Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby said in Spokane, Wash., where the Cardinal women were playing Monday night in the NCAA regional final. "They're terrific players, no question about that. They've done a great job for us."
Ledford, a former Stanford swimmer, opted to send out separate statements from the twins in order to keep the attention on both of them.
"When they go into the NBA, they're going to go to separate teams," she said. "Robin, his whole life he's been underappreciated and undervalued."
The Cardinal were eliminated by Texas in the South Regional semifinals on Saturday in Houston.
Ledford said coach Trent Johnson was supportive of the twins' decision. A message left at Johnson's office was not immediately returned.
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