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Moritz Wagner declares for NBA draft

  • Final-Four-Michigan-Villanova-Basketball-37

    Michigan's Moritz Wagner shoots over Villanova's Eric Paschall during the second half in the championship game April 2. Wagner has declared for the NBA Draft, skipping his senior season with the Wolverines.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Final-Four-Michigan-Villanova-Basketball-38

    Villanova's Jalen Brunson watches as Michigan's Moritz Wagner leaves the game during the second half in the championship game April 2.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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ANN ARBOR — In a thank-you letter on The Players’ Tribune, Moritz Wagner expressed his gratitude to the University of Michigan and announced he would forgo his senior season.

“This wasn’t an easy decision for me,” wrote Wagner, who helped the Wolverines to the Final Four this season. “I know people always say that, and maybe it sounds like they don’t 100% mean it. But I’m telling you guys — the idea of leaving Michigan, of leaving this community, is really tough. This place has really started to feel like home.”

Wagner will sign with an agent, which leaves no wiggle room regarding his future — he is bound for the NBA and the 2018 draft.

The 6-foot-11 forward from Germany is projected to be a second-round pick.

“Moe has been a very special young man in his three years at Michigan,” coach John Beilein said in a statement. “Coming to the United States at 18 years old and thriving the way he has is an amazing story. He truly embodies what Michigan basketball is all about.”

In three seasons at Michigan, Wagner averaged 10.4 points and 4.5 rebounds. But during the past two years, he became a bona fide NBA prospect, recording 13.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.0 steal per game.

During the 2017-18 season, which resulted in a school-record 33 wins and a national runner-up finish, Wagner led the team in scoring (14.6) and rebounding (7.1).

In 11 career NCAA tournament games, Wagner averaged 12.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.0 steal.

“I feel like this is the right time for me,” Wagner wrote. “I feel like I’m ready to move onto this new challenge in life — to give it my best, and to do whatever it takes to make it at the next level.”

Contact Kyle Rowland at: krowland@theblade.com, 419-724-6110, or on Twitter @KyleRowland.

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