Cassius Stanley Leaves for NBA Draft


Cassius Stanley announced that he is leaving Duke after one season to enter the NBA Draft.

Stanley was named to the ACC All-Freshman team after averaging 12.6 ppg and 4.9 rebounds.

"It was an absolute joy to coach Cassius this season," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I want to congratulate him and his great family on this decision. I've seen Cassius grow both as a player and person here at Duke, and I can't wait to see how his career develops at the next level. Any NBA team will be very fortunate to get such a mature young man who is not only an incredibly-gifted athlete, but a leader that wants nothing but the best for himself and his teammates."

Since the premature end to the season, Stanley has posted several cryptic messages on social media, as he debated his future. On Tuesday, he posted an open letter announcing his decision.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has attacked the way we live,” he wrote. “When I chose to attend Duke, it was not imaginable that my freshman year would end as it has. My heart and prayers go out to everyone who has or will suffer from this pandemic.”

Stanley thanked health care workers and said, “The past several weeks have given me a lot of time to think. It really put the past year in perspective. Although the ending to our season was disappointing, I feel blessed to have worn the Duke jersey. Choosing Duke was the best decision of my life. I have grown physically, emotionally, as a person, and as a basketball player. Since I was a young teen, my dream was to play in the NBA and have a great career. Upon joining The Brotherhood, my immediate goal became helping our team reach the Final Four and contend for a national title. I truly believe that is exactly what would have happened if our season wasn't interrupted.

"As much as I feel a burning desire to make another run at the Final Four, I feel compelled to make the best decision for my professional success, and therefore, I have decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft. As tough as this decision has been, I believe it is the best decision for me and my loved ones,” he continued. “I want to thank Coach K, the entire Duke coaching staff and my teammates for all their support. I also want to thank our trainers, strength coaches, managers, administrative staff, and academic support staff. Last but not least, thanks to the Crazies and Duke fans all over the world for helping to make this past year the most fun I've ever had playing the sport we all love."