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Canisius' Takal Molson will place his name in NBA Draft

It's rare when a Big 4 basketball player declares for the NBA. It's even rarer when such instances happen twice in a year, let alone on consecutive days.

That appears to be the case, as freshman and Buffalo native Takal Molson has become the second Canisius College player to enter his name into this year's NBA Draft.

Molson made the announcement via Twitter on Thursday night.

He Tweeted: "I was truly blessed to be able to have a successful freshman year and I learned a lot. With that being said I will be testing the waters by entering my name in this year's NBA draft. Thanks for everyone that helped me get here."

Molson joins teammate, sophomore guard Isaiah Reese, in placing his name for consideration into the draft. However, Reese is not signing with an agent so that he can preserve his college eligibility.

Molson said via direct message he will not sign with an agent so that he, too, can preserve his college eligibility.

The NCAA allows student-athletes to declare for the draft in order to participate in pre-draft workouts and receive feedback from NBA teams. Molson will retain his eligibility so long as he removes himself from draft consideration by May 30.

Molson's reason for testing the waters?

"I feel as I have the tools for the next level and I wanna see where I stand," he said, noting he would have to be a projected second-round pick to consider leaving school.

"I’m not really worried about other prospects, I wanna know where my game personally is on a pro level," Molson said.

Ray Hall (McKinley) was the last Golden Griffin to be selected in the NBA Draft – in the fifth round in 1985 by the Utah Jazz. Mike Smrek of Welland, Ont., was also drafted the same year out of Canisius, in the second round by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Molson earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year this past season, starting all 33 games he played in with the Golden Griffins, helping Canisius match the program records for season wins (21) and earn a share of the regular season MAAC title. Molson averaged 12.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He set the program record for points by a true freshman in his debut with 25 in the Nov. 11 opener against University at Buffalo. His 417 points were the most by a first-year Griff since 1981-82. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard shot 44.2 percent from the floor, including 36.9 from beyond the arc.

"Takal came in and showed that he can play at a high level from opening day, and I think he has earned this chance to see how this process can help him grow," Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon said in a statement. "It is my desire that this process will be beneficial for him as he continues to grow as a person and as a basketball player."

Molson signed with Canisius after playing a year of prep school at TAAG Academy in Tampa, Fla. Prior to that, Molson was a basketball and football standout at St. Mary's of Lancaster – earning All-Western New York honors in both. He averaged 19.1 points per game and 7.1 rebounds for the Lancers his final season in 2015-16.


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