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Yoeli Childs returning to BYU basketball team next season

Yoeli Childs will be a Cougar next season.

The BYU forward announced via Twitter Tuesday night that he is withdrawing from the NBA draft and will return to Provo after previously declaring for the draft without hiring an agent.

“These last two years I’ve spent at BYU have been incredible. The culture here is special and BYU has the best fans in the country. From teammates to coaches to fans it really feels like a big family,” Childs said in a statement on Twitter.

“After several weeks of prayer, talking with my family, those close to me, and NBA teams I feel the best decision for my future and my family is to return to BYU for my junior year!

“Go Cougs!!”

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Childs declared for the draft in late March, but by not hiring an agent retained the possibility of returning to college.

BYU is no stranger to losing players to pro careers early the past two seasons. Last year, center Eric Mika turned professional after his sophomore season. This offseason, the Cougars lost guard Elijah Bryant, as he chose to hire an agent and start his pursuit of a professional career.

Childs, a Bingham High product, averaged 17.8 points, a team-high 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for BYU as a sophomore last season. He also added a team-high 63 blocks and 30 steals on the year while earning All-West Coast Conference first-team honors.