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Derek Culver Officially Declares for NBA Draft, Will Not Return to WVU

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TCU vs West Virginia men's basketball at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on February 23, 2021. (Photo/ Gregg Ellman)

After conflicting reports about his future on Monday afternoon, West Virginia forward Derek Culver announced his intentions clearly, and publicly, late Monday night on his Instagram story.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that Culver had signed with an agent with the intent to turn professional and not return to WVU next season. Culver and teammate Gabe Osabuohien seemed to deny that initial report but Culver clarified his response in Monday’s late-night post. Culver publicly announced that he has officially declared for the NBA draft and will forego his remaining college eligibility.

“I released a statement earlier today that I would now like to clarify,” Culver wrote. “Some on social media have stated that I have left school. In the heat of the moment, I responded on social media to refute those claims. I have taken stock of my college experience and am now undergoing the difficult decision to plan my future. I have elected to forgo my senior year and currently explore my professional options, which was a difficult decision that I did not take lightly. It is a long process for an athlete to turn professional. For those blessed with the opportunity to play as scholarship athletes, it is difficult to leave our adoptive college family. I tried to articulate earlier that I had not officially announced my intentions publicly to leave school and that reports of me doing so were unconfirmed. I refuted these claims as I felt it unfair for those who have supported me over the years to hear it from other sources before hearing it from me directly.

“Now I would like to state on my terms that I am officially declaring for the NBA draft and have signed with Athletes Sports Management (ASM). I want to take this time to thank my family, teammates, and coaches for all the years of support. I am looking forward to this next chapter.”

Culver, a 6-foot-10 forward from Youngstown, Ohio, averaged a career-best 14.3 points per game and led the Mountaineers in rebounding, averaging 9.4 per game this season. He tallied 11 double-doubles and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, two All-District teams and was named an AP All-American honorable mention. Culver also surpassed 1,000 career points this season.

WVU has added a pair of forwards from the transfer portal this offseason, Dimon Carrigan from Florida International and Pauly Paulicap from DePaul. Osabuohien, a senior, has also announced he will use his extra year of eligibility and return to the Mountaineers.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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