Marc Weinreich
Wednesday April 9th, 2014

Joel Embiid didn’t start playing organized basketball until the summer before his junior year of high school. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Joel Embiid didn't play organized basketball until he was 16. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Kansas center Joel Embiid announced Wednesday that he will enter the NBA Draft.

Accompanied by his coach at Kansas, Bill Self, the 20-year-old Cameroonian said at a press conference that he thought long and hard about the decision but ultimately decided to make the jump.

Yahoo Sports reported in late March that Embiid had decided to enter the draft, which will be held June 26 in New York City.

Despite a back injury that forced him to miss Kansas' final six games, Embiid -- who has been compared to Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon -- is projected to be a top-three pick. The 7-footer averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 23.1 minutes a game for the Jayhawks this season. BUKOWSKI: Embiid's upside gives him a shot at No. 1 pick

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.