Former top prep recruit Brumbaugh to enter NBA draft

Keith Brumbaugh was a top-notch college prospect in 2005, but off-court problems derailed his NBA dream. After a one-year stint as the top scorer on the junior college level, Brumbaugh informed officials Friday that he plans on entering the NBA draft.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, a formal news conference is tentatively scheduled for Monday in which Brumbaugh will announce that he is skipping his remaining years of juco eligibility to turn pro. According to the newspaper, USC, South Florida, Connecticut and Ohio State had shown interest in Brumbaugh.

Brumbaugh, 22, was named Florida's "Mr. Basketball" in 2005 after a standout career at DeLand High and signed with Oklahoma State out of high school. He never played for the Cowboys and left the team after the winter break in 2005 due to eligibility issues surrounding an ACT score.

After leaving Oklahoma State, Brumbaugh was at Chipola Junior College in Pensacola, but never played for them. He finally landed at Tampa's Hillsborough Community College last season and led the juco ranks in scoring while drawing a steady stream of NBA scouts to most of his games. Brumbaugh, 6-foot-9 and 205 pounds, averaged 36.5 points, 10 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 4.8 steals at HCC and will likely be a second-round pick.

"They all say he can play," HCC Coach Derrick Worrels told the newspaper of the pro scouts evaluating Brumbaugh. "The questions they have are mainly, 'What do we have to concern ourselves with outside the court?' "

Brumbaugh was arrested six times over a 26-month span and also served two jail sentences, but he says he's learned from his mistakes.

"I've made some stupid decisions in my life -- and with decisions come consequences," Brumbaugh told the Sentinel. "But I've paid my debt to society, I'm back on track and looking to the future, not the past."

"He's been extremely pre-occupied with thoughts of the NBA," Worrels told the St. Petersburg Times. "He wasn't far off as far as the grades he needed to play somewhere next season, but if the classroom isn't a priority to him, this is the best thing for him."

Once Brumbaugh officially enters the draft, he will begin working toward the NBA pre-draft camp that starts May 27 at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando.

"It was just a minute ago that nobody ever thought I'd play basketball again," Brumbaugh told the Sentinel. "Now my name is stronger than it was two weeks ago. And two weeks from now it'll be stronger than it is today because I am going to keep doing the right thing."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.