June 16, 2008
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- UAB's Robert Vaden has withdrawn his name from the upcoming National Basketball Association draft and will return to the Blazers for his senior season, the rising senior announced Monday.
Vaden will return to UAB after arguably one of the best seasons in school history and will lead a talented group of returnees for the 2008-09 campaign.
Vaden was enthusiastic about his performance at the recent NBA Pre-Draft camp and individual workouts with several different NBA teams but is excited to return to the UAB campus.
"This was a very difficult decision for me, and one that I made after carefully consulting with my family and coach Davis," the 6-5, 205-pound swing player said. "I feel it is in the best interest of my future career to return to UAB and the city of Birmingham for the 2009 season. The opportunity to work out for professional teams has been a great learning experience and something that I feel will help me next season.
"I think with the team we have returning next season, it is something for fans and students to get excited about," Vaden continued. "I am excited and looking forward to working hard next season to help our team in any way I can."
UAB head coach Mike Davis is ecstatic about his star player returning to his squad for next season.
"There is no doubt when you talk about Robert Vaden, you are talking about one of the top players in not only Conference USA, but in the nation," Davis said. "He has always been an intricate part of what we are trying to do here and we are excited to have him return to the team.
"This whole experience for him has been terrific," Davis said. "He received a lot of positive feedback from the NBA coaches and scouts. It was a tough decision and one he prayed about and talked to those who are close to him. He just felt in the end, it would benefit him more in the long run to stay in school for his senior season."
Vaden is coming off one of the best seasons in school history in 2007-08, helping lead the Blazers to a 23-11 overall record and an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. He is expected to be a candidate for All-America and Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year as he enters his senior season.
As a junior, Vaden, who transferred from Indiana in 2006, toppled many single-season records. The Indianapolis, Ind. native finished the 2007-08 campaign with single-season school marks of points (695), threes made (142) and threes attempted (355). His marks from beyond the arc also set the single-season records for Conference USA and placed him second and fifth in the nation in three-pointers made and attempted, respectively.
Vaden also finished the year ranked among the top-10 single-season school records in points per game average (21.1, T2nd), field goals made (220, 8th), field goals attempted (539. 4th), free throw percentage (86.3, 4th) and minutes played (1,170, 4th).
Due to his outstanding season, Vaden was selected as a First-Team All-District performer by the NABC and the USBWA. He was also named the Conference USA Newcomer of the Year and was a C-USA First-Team honoree.