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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas freshman Joel Embiid is entering the NBA draft after a breakthrough season that ended with a stress fracture in his back that kept the 7-footer out of the NCAA tournament. Embiid had been mulling whether to return for his sophomore season for weeks. He said during a news conference Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse that he reached his decision Sunday. "I just want to thank the coaching staff, my teammates, the fans, my mentor, everybody that has helped me through my journey," said Embiid, who was accompanied by coach Bill Self. Embiid, who some believe could go first overall, said he discussed his decision with Self, his family and the Timberwolves Luc Mbah a Moute, a fellow Cameroonian who discovered Embiid at one of his camps and helped bring him to the U.S. when he was in high school. "Hakeem Olajuwon called me and I talked to him a little bit. I talked to Luc, my mentor. I talked to Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers," Embiid said. "They didnt tell me what to do, they just gave me the advantages and disadvantages." Embiid, who grew up playing soccer and volleyball, only decided to pursue basketball a few years ago. He started to blossom as a senior at The Rock School and ultimately chose to attend Kansas, where he arrived with less fanfare than fellow freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden. In many ways, Embiid out-performed both of them, averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds while blocking 72 shots and earning Big 12 defensive player of the year honours. "I dont think anybody could say Jo was making a poor decision by entering the draft," Self said. "Under almost all circumstances this would be the obvious choice to make. The thing with Jo, what he was weighing was hes still so young in the sport." Still young, period. And that youthful exuberance endeared him to Kansas fans. "I really love this place. The fans are crazy, just watching them before every game," he said. "For me, it means a lot that they showed me nothing but love. Ill miss this place." Embiid hurt his back while landing awkwardly during a game late in the season, and missed the Jayhawks final two regular-season games and the Big 12 tournament. He also missed a victory over Eastern Kentucky and a season-ending loss to Stanford in the NCAA tournament, after which he said that he would have been able to play had Kansas advanced to the second weekend. "My back is fine," Embiid said Wednesday. "Im close to being 100 per cent." Even though he is still raw, many projects have Embiid joining Wiggins in going among the first three picks in the June draft. Embiids natural athleticism, court savvy and an ability to hit mid-range jumpers have made scouts salivate all season. "I think its going to be hard. I think Jos in for a fight. But I think its going to be a fun fight," Self said. "The jump from college to the NBA is not quite as easy as what a lot of people portray it to be. Just because youre drafted high doesnt mean youre necessarily ready to play. Jos goal obviously is not only to be drafted high but be a big-time player." Self has already signed two five-star prospects for next season in Kelly Oubre, a talented swingman who should help fill Wiggins shoes, and Cliff Alexander, a 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago and the Naismith high school player of the year. The question now is whether another five-star prospect, Myles Turner, will join them in Lawrence. The 6-11 centre from Euless, Texas, is expected to pick among Kansas, Duke and several other schools, but has said he was waiting on Embiids decision before choosing his school. Alexander tweeted at Turner to sign with Kansas shortly after Embiids announcement. Either way, the newcomers will join a team that returns three starters who helped Kansas win its 10th straight Big 12 title and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. "Andrew was easy, because we knew before Andrew got here what the situation more than likely was going to be. Jo, it wasnt quite that," Self said. "What makes it tough is preparing when you dont know that youre going to lose. Weve got good enough players in our program, weve said that all along. Our expectation, our goals wont vary at all." Authentic Ryan Murphy Jersey .Hoffenheim forward Anthony Modeste opened the scoring on a counterattack in the 15th minute, shooting though Jaroslav Drobnys legs after Lewis Holtby lost the ball in midfield. Authentic Carson Soucy Jersey .ca. Kerry, In the closing minutes of the second period of Game 4 between Pittsburgh and Columbus there were the remnants of two broken sticks behind the Pittsburgh net. http://www.cheapwildjerseysauthentic.com...jersey.com) - Former New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya is joining the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a senior advisor to executive director Tony Clark. Minnesota Wild Jerseys China . Szabados joined the Southern Professional Hockey League team last week. The 27-year-old goaltender from Edmonton backstopped the Canadian womens hockey team to Olympic gold Feb. Authentic Ryan Suter Jersey .Currently no, Tatjana Haenni, FIFAs deputy director of the competitions division and head of womens competitions, said Tuesday in an interview from Ottawa.Ladies and Gentlemen, start your printing presses. Now that the World Cup draw is complete, millions of words will be typed in previewing the tournament and thousands of publications will print previews. These are always enjoyable to read but can easily sway your opinion one way or the other. It really is amazing what can happen over time, how a team can go from nobodies to contenders just by certain people talking up their chances. With that in mind, it is important to remember how you feel about these teams today. Things will change, players will get hurt and their form will change, for better or worse, so now is not the time to marry yourself to your picks but it is a very good idea to stick to the majority of what you think today. With that in mind, here are my picks from each group to progress, with a few other predicitions thrown in there too. GROUP A – Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon Initial thoughts on the draw – Brazil will have wanted this kind of group where they can (and will) win it but be challenged and, in Mexico and Croatia, they have teams that will not be cannon fodder. The problem for Brazil is how tough group B is and thats who they will be paired with in the last 16. Most anticipated game – Brazil vs Croatia: Opening game of the World Cup. Pressure is incredible on a host starting a tournament (I am surprised so many hosts want to start the tournament off) but in Croatia, they have an opponent who they can beat. Group Winner – Brazil Runner-up –  Mexico GROUP B – Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia Initial thoughts on the draw – I am not a fan of the term Group of Death but if you are looking for the strongest group, this is it – by a mile! Chile were the team no seeded team wanted to face and Spain, much like four years ago, get them again. Throw in the Dutch and you have an absolutely fantastic group. Spain are a wonderful side but their style of winning tight, narrow games could come back and cost them in this very competitive group. Most anticipated game – Spain vs Netherlands: it is the first match and anyone who loses with Chile still to play will be in massive trouble. Spain cannot afford to start slow again and the road back from an opening game loss is even tougher in 2014 than it was in 2010 with Chile playing in South America. Group Winner – Chile Runner-up - Netherlands GROUP C – Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan Initial thoughts on the draw – On paper, this does not look like a group to get excited about but we should see some wonderful football on display in this group, featuring three teams who can be expansive and easy on the eye (sorry Greece). For Colombia, this is a dream group to help them build confidence as they move towards the knock-out rounds. Most Anticipated Game – Ivory Coast vs Greece: The Africans have been harshly treated in each of the last two World Cup draws but now they have a real shot at qualifying. Their final group, up against Greece, will be a stern test to see if they can climb a hurdle theyve never jumped before. Group Winner - Colombia Runner-up - Ivory Coast GROUP D - Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy Initial thoughts on the draw – You will read in the next few months how Uruguay are old and past their prime, finished fifth out of nine in qualifying and can be beaten but this team is built for tournaments like this and they get to play Costa Rica first. Enngland, however, play Costa Rica (which is not an easy game for them either) last and could be out of the tournament by then.ddddddddddddItaly need a group where they can be tested early (like 2006, not 2010) and although this is a tough one for them, they are more than good enough to win it. Most anticipated game – England vs Italy in Manaus: The latest kick off in the tournament will help, but the weather will be hot in the Amazon region. Hopefully, it wont be a tense 0-0 with so much to come afterwards but dont bet against it! Group Winner – Italy Runner-up - Uruguay GROUP E – Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras Initial thoughts on the draw – France have been dealt a hand they wanted. Questions around their mental state are warranted but these three games, against teams they can beat, will go along way to helping restore the confidence they need to show their talents. Honduras, ironically, gets the E4 slot that a European team so wanted for climate purposes. Seeds Switzerland get a chance to show why they deserved their ranking. Most anticipated game – Switzerland vs Ecuador: The first match of the group is a true match of confederations that will likely help one team advance over the other.  Group Winner – France Runner-up - Ecuador GROUP F – Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria Initial thoughts on the draw – Lost on all the debates of what the group of Death is, is the fact that Argentina were handed a fantastic path towards the final stages. Not only were they given an easy group they should win, they were paired with second in E for the last 16 and winner of H or second in G for the last 8. They also went on to the opposite half of the draw than the winner of group A, likely arch-rivals Brazil. Most anticipated game – Bosnia & Herzegovina vs Nigeria: Another game of contrasting styles that is likely to be a playoff to make the last 16. Group Winner – Argentina Runner-up - Nigeria GROUP G – Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA Initial thoughts on the draw – Klinsmann vs Germany; Ronaldo vs Ozil, so many storylines in this group but lost in it all will be how Africas strongest nation got a very difficult draw once again (much like Ivory Coast in 2006 and 2010). For the Americans, it is a nightmare draw, placed in G4, forced to play all three games in the heat of northern Brazil, and against three very good nations. Most anticipated game – Germany vs Portugal: Forget the Klinsmann Derby,  another opportunity to see Cristiano Ronaldo against the Germans (like in Euro 2012) will be magnificent.  Group Winner – Germany Runner-up - Portugal GROUP H – Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic Initial thoughts on the draw – Absolutely perfect for Belgium. Handed H1, they avoid any games in the tropical north and get three opponents that they will be comfortable with. Russia, against Algeria and Korea Republic, will also be happy but dont rule them out for failing to deliver on the biggest stage once again. Most anticipated game – Belgium vs Algeria: Marc Wilmots side are going to get a lot of love between now and the first game. They were already many peoples sleeper pick and that will intensify with this draw and the game against Algeria finally gives the world a chance to see what Belgium do on the big stage. Group Winner – Belgium Runner-up – Korea Republic Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Nike Baseball Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys Authentic Cheap NHL Jerseys Canada Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China NCAA Jerseys Cheap Nike NHL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Store Cheap Football Jerseys Store Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Jerseys NCAA China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys ' ' '
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