- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

STORRS, CONN. (AP) - Connecticut’s Hasheem Thabeet hasn’t said whether he plans to skip his senior season to turn pro, though messages on his Twitter account indicate the promising center enjoyed a superstar’s lifestyle during a holiday weekend in Miami.

On Sunday, Thabeet “tweeted” on the social networking site about being courtside near rap star Ludacris to watch the NBA’s New York Knicks play the Miami Heat, and then wrote about dining out at an upscale Miami Beach restaurant.

“At The Forge For Dinner!!! I didn’t know food could be so expensive…. Ahhhh LOL!! Enjoyin MIAMi tho.. Fancy Life, Fancy Cars…. Mhmmm,” Thabeet wrote in his online post.

At 7-foot-3, Thabeet was hard to miss at the game. Afterward, he told a reporter that he planned to speak with Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun on Monday about whether he should make himself available for the NBA draft. But Kyle Muncy, a spokesman for the Connecticut basketball team, said he was unaware of that meeting, and doesn’t expect an announcement on Thabeet’s future this week.

“He is definitely going to meet with the coach over the next couple of weeks,” Muncy said.

Thabeet has until April 26 to declare for the draft. If he doesn’t hire an agent, he would have until June 15 to withdraw and retain his collegiate eligibility. Under NCAA rules, he would lose any eligibility if he accepts gifts or benefits from an agent or anyone else because of his athletic ability.

Thabeet did not immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

Muncy said he did not know why Thabeet, who is still enrolled at UConn, was in Miami or who was paying for the trip.

“I assume he was there to see a basketball game,” he said.

Thabeet averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and blocked 152 shots for the Huskies this past season. Muncy said the center has been “a lot of places” since UConn lost in the national semifinals to Michigan State. He stayed in Detroit to pick up a postseason award, and has also traveled to New York for an award ceremony, Muncy said.

While other UConn underclassmen have posted messages about going to class, Thabeet’s “tweets” since April 1 have mostly been about having fun.

“Swagga On A Zillion… Oehttps://wwwwww!!!! MIA-yooo Lets Go!!!!,” he posted Sunday at 2:30 a.m.

UConn had classes last week and this week. The school’s spring break was March 8-14.

Thabeet, who is known for his sense of humor, caused a bit of a stir before the Final Four with a prank post on his Twitter account in which he said he had failed a surprise drug test, and wouldn’t be going to Detroit.

That was posted April 1, and was followed less than an hour later with another message _ “ApriL FooLs!! LOL hahaahhaha!!!”

Thabeet has so far left just one cryptic message about his basketball future on Twitter. On Saturday he wrote, “Indiana 2009-10?”

Indianapolis will be the site of next year’s Final Four.

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