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Aerial Powers declares for WNBA draft

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Reports state Aerial Powers will not return for her senior season at Michigan State, instead she will enter the WNBA Draft.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Per reports from the Michigan State, Aerial Powers has declared for the 2016 WNBA Draft. By declaring for the Draft, Powers will forgo her senior year to play with the Spartans.

Powers is hoping to be the sixth Michigan state player to be selected in the WNBA Draft and the first since 2006 when Liz Shimek was drafted. Other Spartans who have been drafted are Kristin Haynie (2005, ninth overall), Maxann Reese and Kristen Rasmussen (2000, third round and fourth round, respectively), and Syreeta Broomfield (2003, third round).

Powers shared with the university her thoughts on the decision: "This was not an easy decision to make, but I want to thank Coach Merchant and all the coaches and support staff, my family and all of my teammates. I have enjoyed every second of being a Spartan, but now I look forward to the next chapter of my basketball career.

"Spartan nation will always hold a special place in my heart."

This season Powers broke the Spartans career free-throws made with a new record of 438. She has the top two spots on the universities single-season free throws made with 170 from last year and 161 this season.

Powers also became Michigan State's career scoring leader with 1,817 points, had 697 points this season as a single-season scoring record, and became the record holder for career points per game at 18.9.

Powers is now sixth in the Spartan's history for having 293 rebounds in a single-season; she finished her career with 937 landing as number for is the history books.

Powers has left her name in history books and hopes to make a name for herself at the highest level in the WNBA. Not having her return for her final season is a loss for the Spartans, however, her coach is one supporter she does have as she begins her pursuit for the next level.

"When you are a coach the number one thing that you want for all of your players is for them to live their dreams and accomplish all of the goals that they set for themselves. Aerial, since day one, has had a dream to play in the WNBA, so it's rewarding and exciting for her to actually have the opportunity to live that dream," Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant said to the university.

"She was a tremendous ambassador for our University. We are very proud of her and appreciate everything that she gave to this program. We wish her nothing but the best on her new journey."

The WNBA Draft is Thursday, April 14th and will be broadcasted on ESPN2. Coverage of the Draft will begin at 7 p.m ET for the first round and continue on ESPNU for the second and third rounds starting at 8 p.m ET.