Maryland’s Fernando remaining in NBA draft

Maryland power forward Bruno Fernando announced Wednesday that he will remain in the 2019 NBA Draft and bypass his final two seasons of college eligibility.

“After further consideration, I have decided to place my entire focus on the NBA Draft as I pursue my dream of playing basketball at the highest level,” Fernando said in a statement. “I want to thank every member of the Maryland community, especially my teammates, Coach (Mark) Turgeon and the coaching staff, for making my time here special and everything my family and I could have hoped for. I will always consider Maryland a home away from home.”

The 6-foot-10 Fernando is a possible lottery pick, with currently pegging him as the No. 12 overall selection.

Fernando led the Big Ten with 22 double-doubles during a strong sophomore season in which he averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds. His 362 boards were the fourth-highest single-season mark in Maryland history.

“Bruno and I have gathered a lot of information and based on those conversations we are excited about his draft prospects,” Turgeon said in a statement. “I know this was a difficult decision for Bruno because of how much he loved being in College Park. He fully embraced the Maryland experience and loved the fans just as much as they loved him.

“I’m incredibly proud of the player and, more importantly, the man Bruno has become during his two years here at Maryland. His work ethic and drive to succeed are second to none. We wish him the very best as he pursues his dream at the next level.”