Will Pursue His Lifelong Dream Of Playing In The NBA
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Miye Oni, the Ivy League Player of the Year who helped lead Yale to a league title and an NCAA Tournament appearance this winter, has elected to remain eligible for the NBA Draft to pursue his lifelong dream of playing professional basketball.
"My three years at Yale have been the best of my life and have opened doors to opportunities I've dreamt of forever. Ever since my father introduced me to basketball at 2 years old, it has been my lifelong dream to play in the NBA. After going through the pre-draft evaluation process, I believe that it is the right time for me to explore that option.
"I leave Yale a better person and player, due to the unwavering love and support from my coaches and teammates throughout the years. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Coach Jones, Coach Kingsley, and the rest of the coaching staff, who were willing to take a chance on a kid with barely any film or Division 1 interest. They gave me the opportunity to play at this wonderful university.
"I am also forever indebted to every single one of my teammates, who I was able to learn a great deal from. From the countless road trips, locker room debates, and daily banter, you have all meant the world to me and enhanced my Yale experience tenfold. I do not know where or who I would be today without each and every one of you. Thank you for the lasting impact you have had on my life, I consider you all family forever.
"As I embark on this next chapter, I will not just be playing for the name on the front and back of my jersey, but I will be playing for the entire Yale and Ivy League community. I will be playing for the 17-year-old kid with zero Division I offers, I will be playing for the kid who was laughed at for chasing their dreams. I will be playing for the underdog, in any aspect of life, and I hope to be an inspiration to many, just as Hakeem Olajuwon was to me. I will try to be the best role model I can be to the next generation and show them that it is possible to excel in education and athletics and do both at a high level.
"From an early age, my family instilled the value and importance of education in me. They have always been my biggest supporters and without their constant love, I would be nothing. My sister has been a role model to me my entire life and is the reason I believed it was 'cool' to go to an Ivy League school. Getting an Ivy League degree is one of the main reasons I chose to attend Yale and in accordance with the University, I have made a concrete plan to finish my degree as soon as possible."
Oni leaves Yale as the 10th leading scorer in school history with 1,308 career points.
"Miye had a tremendous career at Yale, and I can't be more excited to follow the next chapter of his life," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "He's an outstanding talent and a better person."