University of Washington standout Markelle Fultz voluntarily sat out of the Huskies’s first round conference tournament game Wednesday night to focus on his upcoming final exams.
Fultz, who is presumed to be, by many, the top pick in this year’s NBA Draft if he declares, spoke with head coach Lorenzo Romar Wednesday afternoon regarding his status for their game against the USC Trojans later that night.
Fultz reportedly pleaded with Romar that he needed to get an A on his upcoming Psych final next week and needed more time to study for it. Fultz also mentioned he needed some extra time to prep for his Intro to Business and Creative Writing finals; though an A wasn’t required on them.
Romar, who was reluctant at first to grant Fultz’s request to sit out of the game, eventually gave into Fultz; citing the NCAA’s commitment to student-athlete academics.
“The commitment Markelle has showed toward his studies at the university is something I could not ignore,” said Romar during the post-game press conference. “While sitting out our star player did put our team at a disadvantage, everyone on the bench understood Markelle’s commitment to his studies. They were fine with his decision. It was a just one.”
In a February interview with the Seattle Sun-Times, Fultz said it was his dream to become a clinical psychologist. “For me, academics have always come before basketball. Playing for the Huskies is fun and all, but my real dream is to become a psychologist just like my idol Niles Crane. I want to open my own practice one day. I’m glad that the University of Washington has granted me this opportunity to earn my education and achieve my dream.”
Markelle Fultz has yet to decide on potentially entering this year’s NBA Draft. Sources close to Fultz state that he intends to earn his psychology degree from Washington before playing in the NBA.