Zags center Zach Collins declares for NBA draft, will hire agent

Gonzaga has announced that freshman center Zach Collins will declare for the NBA draft, forgoing his final three years of college eligibility.

Collins said Tuesday that he is exploring his options without hiring an agent at this time, but intends to hire an agent at a later date.

"I just want to thank everyone at Gonzaga, especially the coaching staff and my teammates," Collins said. "This season was special and something I will never forget. It was the most fun year of my life. I want to thank all of the Zag fans for all of their support and passion. I'll always be proud to be a Zag."

The 7-foot, 230-pound Las Vegas native averaged 10 points and 5.9 rebounds, but was integral to the Zags' NCAA tournament run -- which came up just shy in a loss to North Carolina in the national title game.

Collins scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the national semifinal win over South Carolina and scored nine points and grabbed seven boards -- despite being in foul trouble -- against the Tar Heels.

Several NBA executives told ESPN that they felt Collins will be selected somewhere from No. 8 to 20 in June's NBA draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.