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Gophers guard Cam Christie, one of the team's top players this past season, announced Friday that he's declaring for the NBA draft, while leaving open the possibility of returning to school.

Christie has been projected to go anywhere from late in the first round to undrafted. He was the first Gophers player to earn All-Big Ten freshman honors since Amir Coffey in 2016-17.

At 6-6, Christie was a four-star recruit coming out of Rolling Meadows in Arlington Heights, Ill. He averaged 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and shot 39.1% from three-point range for the Gophers.

"It has always been a dream of mine to make it to the NBA," Christie said on social media. "... I am grateful for this opportunity, and I am eager to receive feedback from the NBA on my game."

Christie thanked coach Ben Johnson, the staff, and "all the incredible Gopher fans." Some NBA prospects announce they are declaring for the draft and putting their name in the transfer portal. It's notable that Christie hasn't entered the portal, for now keeping a scenario where he will either stay with the draft process or return to the Gophers.

If Christie departs, that would be another blow this offseason for the Gophers, who also had Pharrel Payne, Braeden Carrington, Joshua Ola-Joseph and Isaiah Ihnen enter the transfer portal.

The Gophers finished 19-15 in Johnson's third season as head coach and will return his leading scorer and rebounder Dawson Garcia next season. If Christie returns, he could join fellow backcourt starters Elijah Hawkins and Mike Mitchell Jr., who are expected back.

Christie's family had experience with the NBA draft previously with his older brother. Max Christie Jr. was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round after one year at Michigan State in 2022.

This season, Cam Christie started 26 games for the Gophers and scored in double figures in six straight games in Big Ten play, including a season-high 23 points on 6-for-9 shooting from three-point range in a 105-97 loss at Illinois on Feb. 28.