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Yi Among Few Global Prospects to Stay in Draft Pool
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China's Yi Jianlian was among only six international players applying for early entry into the National Basketball Association Draft not to withdraw from the process, the league announced.

NBA officials said 32 US college players and six global early entry hopefuls were among those who did not withdraw by a Monday deadline while 46 others, 19 of them global prospects, pulled out of the annual talent allocation process.

Yi, a forward for China's Guandong Southern Tigers, led his team to titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006 before losing to Bayi in this year's finals. He averaged 24.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots a game this past season.

In addition to the 19-year-old Chinese Olympian, global early entry prospects include Finland's Petteri Koponen, Italy's Marco Belinelli, Brazil's Ralfi Silva Ansaloni, Bosnia's Stanko Barac and Ukraine's Kyrylo Fesenko.

US college prospects leaving school early for NBA careers include Greg Oden of Ohio State, the likely number one pick; Texas playmaker Kevin Durant and Joakim Noah, the son of French tennis star Yannick Noah and a two-time US college champion with Florida.

This year's NBA Draft will be staged on June 28 in New York.

(China Daily via AFP June 20, 2007)

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