April 27, 2015 09:32 AM

Louisiana-Lafayette forward Shawn Long says he is staying in school for his senior season because he believes that gives him the best chance to have a long-lasting NBA career.

The 6-foot-9 Long is a former Mississippi State player who transferred to ULL as a freshman. He averaged 16.4 points and 10.2 rebounds for the Ragin' Cajuns this season and was named to the All-Sun Belt team.

In a statement released by the university, Long says he understood he was a candidate for this summer's NBA draft and made "by no means an easy decision" to finish school after several discussions with coach Bob Marlin, assistant coaches and family.

Long says he and his teammates have "some unfinished business," and that he believes his senior season "will be a special one."