A.J. Ogilvy did more than end his Vanderbilt basketball career a year early Thursday.
The 6-foot-11 Australian cut ties with the entire university community when he made himself available for the NBA draft and reached a representation agreement with Wasserman Media Group. While he spoke glowingly of his overall experience the last three years, he also made it known that his intent is to leave behind all things Vanderbilt – and soon.
“At the moment I think I’m going to be pulling out of classes and try to spend a little bit of time at home before I start going on workouts,” he said. “…In the long run, I want to try to go to school back home in Australia. I’ll definitely get my degree, but I’m not sure if I’ll come back to Vanderbilt to do it or not.”
Ogilvy, who had one remaining year of eligibility, is one of only two players in Vanderbilt history with more than 1,000 points and 100 blocked shots in his career. The other is Will Perdue, one of the Commodores’ all-time greats who went on to an accomplished career in the NBA.
Purdue now works for the agency that represents Ogilvy and believes the Commodores’ all-time leader in free throws made is worthy of a late first-round pick in the draft, which will take place June 24.
“With that opportunity, I feel like if I have some good workouts I may even move that up a little bit,” Ogilvy said. “That’s a real good opportunity for me and definitely helped out with the decision-making.”
He stressed that the decision was made with overwhelming support from family, friends, teammates and his college coaches. Ogilvy did concede that he went against one piece of advice from coach Kevin Stallings, who thought it best that Ogilvy not hire an agent right away. That way he could have kept open the option to return to school if his draft status was not what he thought.
Players who declare for the draft but do not hire an agent can remove themselves from consideration by May 8 and still retain their eligibility.
“Hopefully his agent’s projection of being a late first-round pick is accurate and he will have a long an prosperous NBA career,” Stallings said in a release announcing the move. “He has had a very accomplished career and hopefully will experience the same kind of success as a professional.”
Four Vanderbilt players have been drafted since 2000 – all in the second round. The most recent was Shan Foster (Dallas, 2008).
None have distinguished themselves in the world’s top professional league. Dan Langhi played 133 games for three different franchises, and Matt Freije played 42 games for two different teams. Foster and Derrick Byars have not yet played in the league.
“I think I have the skills and the ability to try and mix it up with the players at the next level,” Ogilvy said. “I didn’t have a plan four years ago, to be perfectly honest with you. I just wanted to play basketball.
“Then the opportunity came up for me to put my name in the draft and it was something I had to consider.”
And now, Vanderbilt can consider him gone.
“This is what I wanted to do,” he said. “I knew if I put my name in that I wanted to put all my time and effort into it. So this is the best way for me to do it, I feel like.”