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5-star recruit Terrance Ferguson spurns Arizona to play overseas

The 18-year-old wing will be eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Terrance Ferguson, a five-star shooting guard who committed to Arizona in April, will pursue professional basketball opportunities instead of enrolling in college, the school announced. Ferguson is also expected to sign a deal with Under Armour in a move that would net the 18-year-old an immediate endorsement deal.

His change of heart could raise the issue of possible eligibility concerns stemming from Ferguson's original high school, Prime Prep Academy, which shut down in January of last year under pressure of debts and lawsuits. Ferguson graduated from Advance Preparatory International, an offshoot of Prime Prep where he played alongside five-star 2017 prospects Trevon Duval and Billy Preston. Prime Prep was the same high school that produced Denver Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who decided to play in China rather than honoring in his commitment to SMU in 2014.

Without Ferguson, Arizona will still have one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, but his loss will be felt.  The noted deep-ball threat is widely considered the best shooter in the highly talented class of 2016. The McDonald's All-American set a record with seven made three-pointers at the Nike Hoops Summit in April.

Ferguson is the second top-tier player Arizona has lost to an early professional career in the last 10 years. Former commit Brandon Jennings went to Italy in 2008 en route to being selected No. 10 in the 2009 draft.

Ferguson would be eligible for the 2017 NBA draft per the NBA's current rules as a 19-year-old, one year removed high school. Our Ricky O'Donnell has him slotted at No. 23 in his 2017 mock draft.