By: Lauren J. Young~Staff Writer~
Xavier University sophomore guard Semaj Christon announced last week that he will enter the 2014 NBA draft rather than complete his collegiate career at XU.
The Cincinnati native, who finished high school at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., has played two seasons for the Musketeers.
Throughout his freshman season, Christon was named Player of the Week by the Atlantic 10 Conference seven times (a Xavier record) and finished the season as the A-10 Conference Rookie of the Year.
Christon averaged 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists that season.
Despite Xavier’s tough loss to NC State in the first round of the NCAA tournament this season, Christon received much recognition from the Big East Conference.
He was a unanimous 2014 First Team All-Big East Conference pick, a member of the 2014 All-Big East Tournament Team and ranked sixth in scoring within the conference with 17 points per game.
Christon led Xavier in scoring both his freshman and sophomore seasons and became the second Xavier sophomore in history to reach the 1,000-point mark. He finished his career with 1,034 points and 281 assists.
“It’s been my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. Xavier has been a great experience, but now it’s time for me to move onto a different chapter in my life for me and my family,” Christon told ESPN.com.
Xavier head coach Chris Mack commented as well.
“Semaj is excited to become an NBA player. It’s been his dream since he started bouncing a basketball. We wish him well and thank him for all his hard work and dedication to Xavier basketball,” Mack said.
Christon also tweeted the night of his announcement, saying, “I just want to thank Xavier nation, the coaches, and my teammates ..this has been the best 2 years of my life .. LOVE XAVIER.”
Xavier freshman forward Kamall Richards is also leaving the university.
Richards, a 6’6” Brooklyn native, tore his left ACL during practice back in January and only played seven games as a Musketeer. Richards averaged 3.3 minutes, 0.7 points and 0.6 rebounds in the 2013-14 season.
“We wish Kamall the best and hope he finds success beyond Xavier University,” Mack said. “The decision will allow Kamall to get fully healthy in his sit out year so that he can make the type of impact he wants to at the Division I level.”
During his time at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J., Richards was named a member of the First Team All-Prep for the 2011-12 season by the Newark Star-Ledger.
That same season, Richards reached the 1,000-point mark and helped his team win the state championships with a 35-3 record, a form he will hope to attain again after regaining his health.