Sunday, July 5, 2020
July 5, 2020

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Evergreen grad Robert Franks declares for NBA draft

WSU junior was Pac-12's most improved player

By , Columbian Sports Editor

Robert Franks has decided to take his shot at the NBA.

The Washington State junior from Vancouver’s Evergreen High School declared for the 2018 NBA Draft on Monday.

Franks’ decision comes after a season in which the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 17.4 points per game and was named the Pac-12 Conference’s most-improved player.

“I can’t thank everyone enough at Wazzu who have helped shape me into the man I am today,” Franks wrote on Twitter. “With that being said, my dream is to play at the next level … and I’m ready to pursue my dreams!”

Franks indicated he has yet to hire an agent, meaning he would be eligible to return to WSU before the draft. In a statement released by the school, Franks said he’s eager to see where he could potentially be selected in the draft on June 21.

“I’m excited at the thought of playing at the next level and want to test out the process and see what opportunities lay ahead for me,” Franks said. “I’m not going to hire an agent just yet, I want to get some feedback and see what I can potentially do.”

Franks has until June 11 to make a final decision.

WSU coach Ernie Kent voiced his support for Franks.

“Robert has done a great job for us and has grown tremendously in this system,” Kent said in a WSU statement. “I wish him well as he goes through the process of evaluating his potential to get drafted.”

At Evergreen, Franks was a threat both near and far from the basket. He averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and two blocks during a senior season that saw him named The Columbian’s All-Region player of the year for 2013-14.

After a redshirt year, Franks averaged 2.2 points and 8.3 minutes per game as a freshman.

As a sophomore, he became a key contributor off the bench, appearing in all 30 games and averaging 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds.

But his junior season saw Franks take his game to the next level. He started all 30 games, shot 47.6 percent from the field including 40.5 percent from 3-point range. On Jan. 18, he set a school record with 10 3-pointers, scoring a career high 34 points in a win over California.

Franks was also named honorable mention on the Pac-12 all-defensive team with a team-high 29 blocks and 15 steals.

During this past season, Franks told The Columbian that hard work in the gym was behind his improvement.

“To think OK, all the hard work I put in all summer … it’s definitely something I’ve worked for,” Franks said. “It wasn’t luck or came easy. It came when I was in the gym, just me and my trainer putting up shots and getting in work.”