Cole Aldrich, fighting back tears, said Monday he’ll skip his senior year at Kansas and head for the NBA.


Cole Aldrich, fighting back tears, said Monday he’ll skip his senior year at Kansas and head for the NBA.

The 6-foot-11 center, who averaged almost a double-double for the Big 12 champions, is projected by most experts as a high first-round pick.

“The last three years have been pretty special,” he said.

Blessed with a wingspan greater than most men his height, Aldrich averaged 11.3 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who were the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before they were upset by Northern Iowa. He also set a team record with 125 blocks.

The Jayhawks are still waiting for a decision by freshman swing man Xavier Henry, their second-leading scorer.

It would have been a surprise if Aldrich had elected to remain in school. His father, Walter Aldrich, is a construction worker who’s been put out of a job by the recession.