Aminu backs choice to stay at Wake

NORCROSS - Al-Farouq Aminu knew he wasn't going to be one-and-done with college before he ever stepped on the campus of Wake Forest.

"I told myself before the season started I was coming back," Aminu said at a basketball camp he and his brother Alade were hosting on Friday. "I tried to stick to it. It was hard to stick to it because I always wanted to play in the NBA. I told myself before the season started, no matter how good I did or anything like that I was coming back."

Aminu was a highly decorated player at Norcross, leading the Blue Devils to back-to-back state titles and earning McDonald's All-American honors. There was speculation before he entered college that he might play just one season at Wake.

That choice to stay for a second season got a little tougher by the end of his freshman year. Aminu earned freshman All-American honors from several media outlets and was a unanimous selection to the ACC All-Freshman Team after averaging 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds.

He began to hear talk of being a possible draft lottery pick, earning millions of dollars and fulfilling a lifelong dream to play in the NBA.

"It was solid in my mind before the season started that I was coming back," Aminu said. "Then I kind of got iffy as the season was going and they tell you can go pretty high. It does make it kind of hard."

But after a talk with his parents, he decided another year in college would benefit him in the long run.

"Education, my parents really stressed that to me, and they didn't want me to go out in the business world with one year of education under my belt," Aminu said. "I wanted to play with my teammates again. I came in with a nice freshman class, so I just wanted to come back."

Aminu was also motivated to come back for his sophomore season after Wake was upset in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament.

"It's just ugly when you don't make it out of the first round, so I'd really like to come back and make a push further in the tournament," Aminu said.

Aminu hasn't made a decision yet on coming back for a junior season in 2010-11. He said he'll wait and see how his sophomore campaign plays out and make a choice next spring.

"I just want to get better as a player, help the team get better and if next year at this time of the year I feel ready to go, then I'll be ready to go," he said.