Robinson: 'I know I'm ready to make the jump'

SEATTLE -- Nate Robinson, the 5-foot-8 guard who led Washington to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, said Monday he plans to enter the NBA draft.

"Deep down in my heart," he said, " I know the right decision is to skip my senior year and enter the NBA draft.

"I know I'm ready to make the jump. It's been a dream to me ever since I was a young boy," he said.

Robinson, who was selected to the All-Pac 10 team the last two seasons and was a third-team Associated Press All-America this year, helped Washington recover from four straight losing seasons.

He said the decision to leave his teammates wasn't easy.

"It's tough because of what we did and what we still could do," he said. "The sky's the limit for the upcoming Huskies. They're going to be great."

Robinson was Washington's leading scorer at 16.4 points per game this season as the Huskies set a school record with 29 victories and advanced to the round of 16. He was All-Pac-10 as a sophomore in 2004 when the Huskies advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.

Robinson considered declaring for the NBA after last season, turning in a strong showing at the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp. However, he decided to return, in part because he felt the Huskies could make it to the Final Four.

But Robinson had hinted strongly all season that this was likely to be his last. He recently became a father and has talked of needing to "provide for my family."

Robinson, who was measured at just under 5-8 at the Chicago camp last year, is generally considered an early second-round pick with a chance of moving into the late first round depending on his workouts.

With Robinson's 42-inch vertical leap, his height wasn't much of an issue. He threw down one crowd-pleasing dunk after another.

Robinson, the son of former Huskies running back Jacque Robinson, initially came to Washington on a football scholarship and started at cornerback as a freshman in 2002. He then decided to concentrate on basketball.