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Thomas Robinson To NBA Draft: 'It's Beyond Words What This Program Has Meant To Me'

Thomas Robinson is having his day today. After a year in which he and Tyshawn Taylor hoisted the Jayhawks up and carried them all the way to the national title game, Robinson is now able to savor the incredible season he enjoyed in which he became the first unanimous All-American since Blake Griffin while averaging 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

In today’s press conference, Robinson finally made official what had been known for weeks: that he was forgoing his senior season to make himself available in the 2011-12 NBA Draft. But it was clearly not just an announcement to move on from Kansas, but to also give credit to the coach and teammates and fans who brought him to this point.

“I’ve been up all night trying to come up with a thank you note or something to show my appreciation,” said Robinson. “I couldn’t get anything. I think it’s beyond words what this program has meant to me and how much support I’ve felt coming from my situation. Even arriving on campus, somehow in some way, everyone makes you feel special around here. It’s going to be hard leaving. I’ll miss my teammates, the coaching staff, the fans and just the town, period. Of course, this reason is because it will put me in a position to take care of my family, for my little sister and everybody else.”

Bill Self was also clearly proud of Robinson and said so from the outset.

“This is a glorious day. It’s beautiful outside, but also because of a young man’s commitment and effort and hard work, he has a chance to make an announcement today. The thought of any player coming in here would hopefully be that we could put them in a situation where they have to make decisions, and Thomas has certainly earned that right.”

Robinson is projected to go in the top half of the lottery, perhaps as high as No. 2 or 3 overall behind Anthony Davis of Kentucky.